Whitmore expresses mixed feelings with Boyz' rendition against Curacao

In The USA

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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LOS ANGELES, California — Though content with achieving the team's major objective of advancing to the quarter-finals, Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore was disappointed with the team's execution in the final third of Tuesday's 1-1 game against Curacao inside Banc of California Stadium.

The Reggae Boyz ended top of Group C with five points ahead of Curacao and El Salvador on four points each, with Honduras, the seeded team in the group, ending at the foot of the four-team group with three points.

Curacao also advanced to the quarter-finals courtesy of a better goal difference over El Salvador, who were hammered 4-0 by Honduras in Tuesday's second game in front of 22,035 spectators.

“Finishing was our major let-down in the game,” reasoned Whitmore yesterday.

“But what we saw yesterday (Tuesday) from the previous two games was the connection from defence to midfield to the final third, which resulted in numerous chances being created by the team,” he added.

Jamaica started like a house on fire and took the lead on 14 minutes when Shamar Nicholson redirected Andre Lewis's left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area.

But long before Nicholson's strike, the Boyz pinned their opponents back into their own half with a series of attacks, going close on no fewer that four or five occasions, including a right-footed strike by Nicholson which rebounded off the base of the upright.

That period of play impressed Whitmore, even if the end result was lacking.

“We created more opportunities in 15 minutes than we created in the 180-plus minutes against Honduras and El Salvador, so that must be saying something, and it wasn't a case of set pieces, so we have to laud the players for that. What we set out to achieve we have done in terms of going on to the next round. w We can't fault the performance, we created numerous opportunities, easy chances to put away, but I think we weren't clinical in front of goal and I think our decision-making wasn't spot on last night (Tuesday night), but all in all what can we say when you top the group?”

Still Whitmore was not pleased with the manner in which the Boyz managed the game and their consistency.

“We need to play every game for 90 minutes and I think we have seen lapses in all three games we have played so far, and we also need to know how to manage the games,” he said.

Whitmore also said that losing Damion Lowe at that point had a negative impact on the game.

“Losing Lowe had a major impact in the game, as that caused our rhythm to break a bit, because we know what he brings to the team at the back, but we have to move on and put this game behind us and focus on the next game on Sunday,” he noted.

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