Sun | Sep 15, 2019

Lessons learnt from Reggae Girlz defeat– Menzies

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2019 | 12:18 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Khadija Shaw dribbles to goal while under pressure from Yomira Pinzon of Panama during an international friendly played at The National Stadium on Sunday May 19, 2019. Shaw scored twice in Jamaica’s 3-2 loss to Scotland on Tuesday in Glasgow.

After watching his team concede from two set-pieces in their 3-2 loss to Scotland on Tuesday in their final international friendly before their opening FIFA Women’s World Cup game, Reggae Girlz head coach Hue Menzies was left disappointed with the team’s organisation during dead-ball situations.

Menzies, however, noted that despite the result, he was pleased that they were able to work on certain aspects of their game, which they had set out to address.

He noted that besides getting the Girlz acquainted with the World Cup environment, the focus for the game was to stay disciplined in defence and look for opportunities to counter, and he thought they were excellent in that regard. However, he believes that they should have done better on set-pieces and said the coaching staff must take responsibility for the poor organisation displayed by the team on both set-piece goals that they conceded.

“It’s a game that we wanted to simulate conditions at the World Cup. They had 18,000 people that was the main thing. We wanted to make sure we were in an environment that there were not too many Jamaicans as we have to play with those things (at the World Cup)” he said.

“We wanted to see if we could maintain our discipline defensively and get some counters (attacks) off it. We didn’t really play. We just tried to work on something specific and we scored two goals off it, so we are pleased with that part of it,” Menzies outlined.

Set-piece concerns

“But I was disappointed with the set-pieces because we practised those things and people just missed their assignments. We had some mismarking in the box on the corner kick because ‘Bunny’ (Khadija Shaw) wasn’t there and she (Shaw) has a (marking) assignment. She was off the field at the time when they scored that goal, and we the coaches will take full responsibility for that. It was miscommunication, we just couldn’t get the information in time. But that’s why we play these games,” he reasoned.

“Also, we just didn’t keep the ball as much. We didn’t do a good job of that, and it is going to take some more practice. But at the end of the day, a 3-2 result at Hampden Park in front of 18,000 people is not a bad result,” he added.

Menzies said the aim now is to get the players to their best physical and mental state ahead of their first game against Brazil on June 9 in Grenoble, France.

“We are going to start focus on Brazil. We started watching some films. Scotland beat them one-zero.We watched that game already so we are now going to flip it towards Brazil and then go through and get the mindset ready for Brazil,” he said.

At Hampden Park, Shaw put the Jamaicans in front after 15 minutes, but strikes from Caroline Weir and Erin Cuthbert sent the hosts ahead and into the half-time break with a 2-1 advantage. Although Shaw made it 2-2 in the 49th minute, Sophie Howard headed home from a corner to give Scotland the 3-2 win.

Jamaica will also face Italy and Australia in Group C at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.