Young Girlz seek face-saving win in final game
Jamaica under-20 Reggae Girlz go into their final Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championships Group A game against Panama at the Estadio Felix Sanchez today at 2 p.m. with just one intention, to leave the tournament with a victory.
The young Reggae Girlz were beaten 4-0 by Canada and the United States (US) in their first two matches while the Panamanians lost 6-0 to the US and were beaten 5-0 by the Canadians.
Jamaica Football Federation’s Director of Football Wendell Downswell, a member of the coaching staff in Dominican Republic, said despite the big loss the Girlz can take heart from their performance against the US in their previous match and will be fighting for a win against Panama.
“We played a hard-fought game and a good first half. But the US team is a formidable unit. We lapsed for five minutes and quality teams do exploit that, and that was a turning point in the game,” Downswell said, referring to the two goals they conceded in the first 10 minutes of the second half to go 3-0 down.
“I thought the girls fought gallantly. If we had put in a similarly quality performance against Canada, the result may not have been as it was.”
Downswell said they have seen the Panama team and what they are capable of and though they have conceded less than their opponents, he anticipates a very close match.
“We have scouted the Panama team and they appear to be a formidable opposition. It is a good team but we are going out there to fight and see if we can come home with some saving grace as it relates to our performance, and get a victory against them.
“We are going to fight gallantly to get a victory against Panama. It is not going to be an easy task for the ladies, especially playing back-to-back games of this nature,” Downswell said.
The US and Canada, with maximum six points from two games, have already qualified for the semifinals with the US holding the advantage by virtue of a superior goal difference. The two will square off in the group decider.
The Reggae Girlz are third in the standings with no point and a minus eight goal difference. Panama are last with a minus 11 goal difference.