Sun | Feb 25, 2024

‘Just win’

Coach focused on all-important results after Jamaica u17’s second 1-0 win

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2023 | 2:14 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Dyllan John dribbles away from the attentions of Trinidad & Tobago’s Malachi Webb during their under-17 international friendly at the STETHS Sports Complex yesterday.
Jamaica’s Dyllan John dribbles away from the attentions of Trinidad & Tobago’s Malachi Webb during their under-17 international friendly at the STETHS Sports Complex yesterday.

JAMAICA’S UNDER-17 football coach, Merron Gordon, says winning games at all costs is key following his team’s second 1-0 win over their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts at the St Elizabeth Sports Complex yesterday.

The young Reggae Boyz, who made three changes from the opening game in Kingston, got the lone goal in the fourth minute when Adrian Reid converted a penalty after Nahshon Bolt-Barrett was brought down in the area following a rash tackle from Trinidad defender Joshua Figaro.

That early goal seemed to have comforted the Jamaicans with the home side found wanting in the final third for the remainder of the contest.

Following a tactical change by Trinidad and Tobago coach Shawn Cooper, the visitors looked a totally different side in the second half and were it not for some excellent defending from Ahir Dixon and Reid, the game could have gone differently.

The Jamaicans got a chance to double their lead in the 57th minute when defender Malachi Molina rifled a right-footed shot on to the post after some good work down the left side from Jahmani Bell.

For the second time running, both teams took part in a mock penalty shootout with the Jamaicans coming out on top 4-2 with overseas substitute goalkeeper Joshua Grant saving two Trinidad and Tobago penalties.

The Jamaicans are set to fly out of Montego Bay tomorrow, en route to Guatemala, for their first match in the qualifiers against Cuba on Sunday, and Gordon made it clear that finding ways to win will be key for the side throughout the tournament.

“We are not finding the back of the net as we would like, but we are winning the games, which is also important. Yes, we want to score more because we have created a lot of goalscoring opportunities, but such is football.”

Gordon added that his team is looking good defensively and he would want his team to be more consistent and sharper in the final third.

In the meantime, Cooper says his team is without two key overseas players but he was pleased that he was able to get some good practice against a formidable Jamaican side.

“I think it was a good exercise for us in this fourth practice game. We are steadily going forward and progressing.”