Mission accomplished for Girlz – Menzies - Young Boyz look for second Pan Am win against Panama
Despite losing all three of their group games, to finish bottom of Group A, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz ended the Pan American Games football tournament on a positive note after beating host Peru 1-0 at the Estadio Universidad in San Marcos, yesterday.
Mireya Grey scored the game’s only goal after 26 minutes in the seventh-place decider as Jamaica finished second from bottom in the eight-team tournament. But for coach Hue Menzies, gathering experience and exposure for his young players was the main focus, and he believed that they achieved that objective despite the unfavourable results.
“Its a good way to end this Pan Am project on the 57th birthday of our country. We played a great second half after we made adjustments at half-time. We kept possession of the ball, and defensively, we were disciplined,” Menzies surmised.
“We continue to grow our programme by giving these young players the experience. That was the main mission, and we accomplished it. We got the opportunity to evaluate all the players before selection of the Olympic qualifier roster. Jayda Hylton-Pelaia and Madiya Harriott did well, and both will be in the contingent for the Olympic qualifier selection process,” he noted.
“This [tournament] tells that we continue to provide experience for our young players to grow on the international stage, and I am satisfied with the experience provided. However, we still have to improve on establishing more of an assertive effort collectively,” he added.
The Reggae Girlz lost their opening game to Mexico 2-0 before going down to Colombia by the same margin. In their last group game against Paraguay, they scored their first goal of the tournament but went down 3-1. However, in their final match at the Games, the Caribbean team pulled a surprise to get an unlikely win over the South Americans thanks to Grey’s first-half strike.
Jamaica’s male team will face Panama today at 1 p.m. in the fifth- and sixth-place decider at the same venue. The Jamaicans got their first win of the competition in their Group B closer on Sunday against Peru, with a 2-0 scoreline after a Deshane Beckford brace.