Duckie apologises for Young Boyz's shock elimination

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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It was lights out for Jamaica's Under-23 footballers as their dream of seeing the Olympic torch first hand were dashed unceremoniously when they crashed out of the qualifiers at the Caribbean stage on Sunday.

A disappointed head coach Donovan Duckie apologised to the nation for his team's poor displays which ended in elimination, and despite not losing a game.

“First of all, we have to apologise to the fans, apologise to the sponsors,” said Duckie, as the St Kitts and Nevis players celebrated in the background.

“The results weren't what we expected, weren't what we wanted, but the lads did their best,” said a sombre Duckie.

With only the winner of the three-team Group A advancing to the next round, Jamaica needed to beat St Kitts and Nevis but were held to a 1-1 result at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex and finished second with two points. St Kitts topped the group with four points, while Dominica finished at the bottom on a point.

St Kitts and Nevis, the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere with a population of approximately 54,000, will now play the winner of Group D, which consists of Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, St Lucia and Puerto Rico.

Nicque Daley gave Jamaica the lead on the stroke of half-time, slotting home after a brilliant turn in the penalty box in the 45th+4 minutes, but Geovannie Lake earned a most valuable point for St Kitts, slotting home in the 56th minute to effectively end Jamaica's hopes.

It was the second time this core of St Kitts players eliminated a Jamaican team, then under the guidance of Ricardo “Bibi” Gardner at the Under-20 level in 2016.

“I have always been saying that it is time for us to wake up now and stop think of yesteryears. Yesteryears were the dominant Jamaica and the dominant Trinidad and maybe Haiti. But the football has evolved. All the countries are using their privileges,” Duckie explained.

“When we did our background check on this team when Jamaica Under-20 was eliminated, the midfield trio includes two players from England and one from Mexico players from the USL, so we knew we were playing a quality team,” he added.

“We got the go-ahead goal in the game and we tried to maintain the advantage. They threw everything at us. It was 1-1 and we gave everything, but the result wasn't forthcoming. There were a lot of positives we can take out of the competition, but it was a very disappointing end to the first phase of the competition,” said Duckie.

Following their lacklustre 1-1 draw with Dominica, the Jamaicans came out with a lot of energy, bossed possession but once again lacked that cutting edge amidst poor decision-making throughout.

Daley, who came on in the first game and scored, got the start this time and created a lot of problems for St Kitts' backline with his strength and movement off the ball.

As talented as they are touted to be, captain Alex Marshall, Tyreek Magee, Deshane Beckford, Lamar Walker, Chavanay Willis, Kevon Lambert, Venton Evans, Kaheem Parris looked ordinary as an attacking and creative force, hence it was no surprise they were eliminated.

“We created 13 chances, they created a half-chance. We were dismal in front of goal, our finishing was not there in the first game, hence we didn't get the desired result,” Duckie pointed out.

“This is what football is about. I take full responsibility for the team not producing the goods,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, St Kitts head coach Earl Jones could not contain his joy and said his team delivered because they had to back him up after he made statements that he get the better of powerhouse Jamaica.

“When I tell the guys to move they will move. I pumped my energy through them. I am a very emotional coach, everybody got a style and it works,” said Jones.

Jamaica is Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis is a small twin-island federation and we have to step up at some point. Our families back home are very proud. The guys decided that they coming here to Jamaica to prove a point and they really did,” he added.

“Kudos to the Jamaican coach, he is a hell of a coach. I studied him, and doing our homework we have to study everything. I was down at half-time, but I knew we would get back,” said Jones.

Teams: Jamaica — Jeadine White, Javain Brown, Ajeanie Talbott, Jamoi Topey, Ricardo Thomas, Kevon Lambert (Venton Evans 68th), Chavanay Willis, Tyreek Magee (Lamar Walker 60th), Alex Marshall (Kyle Butler 77th), Deshane Beckford, Nicque Daley

Subs not used: St Michael Edwards, Clifton Woodbine, Tevin Shaw, Daniel Green, Kaheem Parris, Shemar Jemison

Booked: None.

St Kitts and Nevis — Zaylese Zmith, Xavier French (Yusut Saunders 31st), Petrez Williams, Salas Cannonier, Ezrick Nicholls, Raheem Somersall, Yohannes Mitchum, Steve Archibald, Gvaune Amory, Tyrese Shade, Geovannie Lake (Tyquan Terrell 72nd)

Subs not used: Javon Caines, Keyauni David, Ronaldo Belgrove, Takit Hanley, Ezer Browne

Booked: None.


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