Fri | Dec 3, 2021

‘Building blocks’

Busby looks at ways to improve after Reggae Girlz’s 0-0 draw with Costa Rica

Published:Monday | October 25, 2021 | 12:08 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
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Ten-player Costa Rica held Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz to a 0-0 draw in their friendly international at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yesterday. However, despite not getting the win, head coach Hubert Busby Jr, said there were many...

Ten-player Costa Rica held Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz to a 0-0 draw in their friendly international at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yesterday.

However, despite not getting the win, head coach Hubert Busby Jr, said there were many positives to take from the performance.

“I was pleased with the performance,” he said. “We remained loyal to the principles of how we want to play, playing through the lines and dominating technically and athletically.

“But we created enough chances to win the game. If we had not created enough chances, then it would have been a bit more concerning, but we created enough chances.”

But Busby says they will have to work on how they break down deep sitting defences.

“We also have to deal with situations like that, when teams sit very deep and don’t allow us to play and do a little bit of time-wasting to ensure they get a result.

“But it is building blocks and we have to continuously look how we can improve because we want to make sure that we are firing on our cylinders come February. But I am proud of how they represented today. It was a fine display.”

Jamaica was given the numerical advantage six minutes into the game when senior Costa Rican midfielder Katherine Alvarado was shown the red card for serious foul play.

However, the Reggae Girlz did not make their numbers advantage count, despite having their opponent on the back foot for most of the match.

After Alvarado’s dismissal, the Jamaicans tried to press home their advantage, and striker Khadija Shaw had a shot from outside the box that was blocked.

Satara Murray then came close with a header a couple minutes later.

As the Reggae Girlz increased their dominance, Paige Bailey-Gayle (twice), and Jade Bailey forced crucial saves from Costa Rica goalkeeper Daniela Solera. Shirley Cruz had Costa Rica’s best chance of the half but she fired over from a freekick.

Jamaica then responded with efforts from Drew Spence, and Cheyna Matthews, the latter having an effort saved from very close range in the 39th minute.

In the last five minutes, the Reggae Girlz had Costa Rica on the ropes but could not find the breakthrough, as the half ended goalless.

Immediately after the break, Matthews’ header to the top right corner was saved by Vega, while teammates Atlanta Primus, Shaw, and Spence all threatened to break the deadlock. Shaw also came close with a header in the 71st minute.

The Costa Ricans rarely troubled the Jamaica defence but Gabriela Guillén had a header that went just over the bar in the last minutes of the game, while Lixy Rodríguez’s shot from outside the box just missed the upright in added time.

The Reggae Girlz are preparing for their Concacaf first-round FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, scheduled to begin in February. They have been placed in Group C with Bermuda, Grenada, Dominica Republic, and Cayman Islands.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com