Sports

Jamaica disappointed with Dominica draw

...Under-23s seek redemption against St Kitts and Nevis

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 19, 2019

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Jamaica's Under-23 head Coach Donovan Duckie remained upbeat following his team's 1-1 draw with minnows Dominica in their Group A Caribbean Olympic qualifier that puts the team in a nervous situation against St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday.

The talented Jamaican bunch, playing in front of a decent-sized crowd at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Wednesday night, failed to really spark and had to come from behind for a disappointing point in the three-team group.

Dominica stunned the home crowd in the 37th minute when Tobi Jno Hope rammed home from close range after goalkeeper Jeadine White failed to hold onto a rasping drive by Javon George. But the young Reggae Boyz salvaged a crucial point as substitute Nicque Daley tapped home in the 52nd-minute from an Alex Marshall cross. Daley had replaced Daniel Green three minutes earlier.

It was a disappointing result for hosts Jamaica as they were expected to secure a maximum of three points against one of the minnows in the region.

“We are still upbeat and we are confident about the project,” Duckie told the Jamaica Observer. “It's a difficult project, it's a difficult tournament to qualify for. If we pull through, it will get harder and harder, but we are expecting this and these are the challenges we are expecting from these teams,” he said.

Jamaica started with captain Alex Marshall upfront alongside Daniel Green and Deshane Beckford with Tyreek Magee as the playmaker and Chavanay Willis and Kevon Lambert as the holding midfielders. Ajeanie Talbott partnered Jamoi Topey at the heart of the defence with Javian Brown and Ricardo Thomas as wing backs. White started in goal.

But as talented a bunch as they are, the team never clicked, especially in the first half, but found some life in the second with the introduction of the powerful and speedy Daley, and to a lesser extent, tricky Lamar Walker. Magee found his mojo and was pulling the strings late on as Jamaica hunted that winning goal.

“I am a little bit disappointed with the result of course because it's a three-team tournament. We knew, had we won the game, we would still have everything to play for in the last game. We knew if we had drawn the game, which we did, we would still have everything to play for in the last game,” explained Duckie.

“If you could measure the game by possession, we had 80 per cent, one team played in possession and played in transition. One team played defense and played in transition. I thought we conceded a soft goal, we lost the first ball but our reaction was bad. But after we conceded the goal our reaction was good,” he added.

If Jamaica were disappointed with the point, Dominica, with a population of just over 73,000 living within 290 square miles, were ecstatic with their point and coach Rajesh Latchoo is not ruling out topping the group.

“It was a very intense game, we played a great team, respect to Jamaica, it's a good team with good players. But our players went out there, we had a game plan and we knew certain weakness we have, we know their strengths, so we went out there with the determination to play with a lot of heart and keep organised defensively,” said Latchoo.

“They got some chances and they didn't put it away, lucky for us. We managed to get in the box a couple times playing on the counter. I thought that we weren't efficient sometimes in the transition from defense to attack. We gave away the ball a little too cheaply,” he noted.

Latchoo revealed he rested some of his more creative players for hard workers and it paid dividend.

“Our team is not a possession team, we don't have fields like this. We have one good field and we get to train on that maybe. So we have to play within our strengths,” said Latchoo.

“The players on the bench are starting players, so I know they are vexed because they didn't get to play today. But we made some decisions specific to Jamaica. For the St Kitts game, we have not seen them play so we just have to apply ourselves and the fresh legs will be featured in the game,” he added.

He included overseas-based player Tobi Jno Hope and five overseas college-based players in Montell James, Nick Anthony, Fitz Jolly, Andrez Joseph, and Gylles Mitchel and they fought hard for the point.

Dominica will play St Kitts and Nevis today at 4:00 pm at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex and they could put pressure on Jamaica with a win.

“We didn't come to lose and we have nothing to lose. Everybody expects us to be the whipping dogs,” said a smiling Latchoo.

Teams:

Jamaica — Jeadine White, Javain Brown, Ajeanie Talbott, Jamoi Topey, Ricardo Thomas, Kevon Lambert (Kahem Parris 87th), Chavanay Willis, Tyreek Magee, Alex Marshall, Deshane Beckford (Lamar Walker 56th), Daniel Green (Nicque Daley 49th).

Subs not used: St Michael Edwards, Clifton Woodbine, Tevin Shaw, Venton Evans, Kyle Butler, Shemar Jemison.

Booked: Lambert (80th), Magee (84th).

Dominica: Tafari Elie, Curdel Joseph (Andel Laville 76th), Tobi Jno Hope, Gylles Mitchel, Christian Bernard, Kiano Martin (Kassim Pelter 16th), Reon Cuffy (Montel James 60th), Fitz Jolly, Marcelus Bonney, Nick Anthony, Javid George.

Subs not used: Kellyson Thomas, Donte Newton, Ajaba Royer, Andrez Josephs, Shannon Stoute, Usher George.

Booked: Jolly (48th), George (69th)

Referee: Ted Ankle (USA)

Referees: Eduardo Mariscal (USA), Kevon Clarke (Barbados)

Fourth Official: Sergio Reyna (Gautemala)


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