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Gutsy win for Hockey 5s men

Tough day for women as crossover round fixtures locked in

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2023 | 1:19 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
George McGlashen (left) and Kevon Reid (right) help Gian-Paul Haughton celebrate a Pan American Cup Hockey5s goal against Puerto Rico at the Mona Hockey Field yesterday. Jamaica won the match 3-2.
George McGlashen (left) and Kevon Reid (right) help Gian-Paul Haughton celebrate a Pan American Cup Hockey5s goal against Puerto Rico at the Mona Hockey Field yesterday. Jamaica won the match 3-2.

WHILE IT was a difficult final day of group play for the Jamaican women, the Jamaican men produced a performance of grit to continue their charge on yesterday’s third day of the Hockey5s Pan American Cup at the Mona Hockey Field.

The men edged Puerto Rico 3-2 in their final group game in a see-saw game, which saw Jamaica fight back after losing the lead twice.

Jamaica’s Paul-Gian Haughton (third minute) and Puerto Rico’s Eddie Fuentes (seventh minute) traded goals in the first half while the second half saw Nickoy Stephenson restore Jamaica’s advantage, only for Fuentes to equalise three minutes later. Shemar Gordon got the winner in the 19th minute after Jamaica fended off penalty shots from Puerto Rico in the latter stages.

With a defeat in the previous qualifying tournament fresh in their minds, national goalkeeper and captain Ajani Burton credited their grit and team spirit for their second straight win to finish group play in second place.

“We kind of had a vendetta against Puerto Rico from the qualifiers and we wanted to exact our revenge tonight. There were a couple of things that didn’t go our way but we stuck to the game plan as much as possible and the good thing is that we came out with the victory,” Gordon said.

“We understand that momentum is important and we don’t want to take it for granted.”

Men’s head coach Duvaughn Henlon said though Jamaica survived multiple penalty shots, especially in the second half, with the team defending valiantly.

“It tends to get like that at times and players did well. They kept their heads, they kept at it, they kept going. They didn’t give up and I am proud of them for that,” Henlon said.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican women suffered a heavy 10-1 defeat to top-ranked Uruguay in their final game in group play thanks to a four-goal performance from Manuela Vilar.

The defeat meant the Jamaicans finished at the bottom of the group with one point and will play the United States in the crossover round on Thursday. Technical director, Dr Michelle Holt, said they tried to use the game to work on defensive schemes because they knew how difficult a Uruguay test would have been.

“It was an opportunity for us to dress rehearse. We obviously got things wrong. But the outcome didn’t matter and the result didn’t matter because our fate was already sealed in terms of who we were going to meet,” Holt said.

“When you play against top teams you have to defend and counterattack. The movement of the team was better but the individual skills that Uruguay have, even when we play the right one v two (did us in). They were able to execute some good movements.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com