Barranquilla, Colombia - Jamaica’s senior women’s footballers, the Reggae Girlz, will look to rebound with a positive result against fellow Concacaf outfit Costa Rica in their Group A match of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, at the Estadio Julio Torres Moderno on Saturday. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
In their opening game, the Jamaicans had suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to South America’s Venezuela on Thursday. Jamaica should have won the match, but two missed penalties by the experienced Khadijah Shaw denied them.
The defeat has left Jamaica bottom of the group without a point and an inferior goal difference to hosts Colombia, who also lost their opening match by a 1-0 margin to Costa Rica.
Winning results put both Venezuela and Costa Rica top of the group and Jamaica will be looking to make a swift rally with a win that could put them right back in the pickings for one of two spots available for the next round.
“It’s always a setback when you’ve lost your first game, but that’s why you play three games. So we’ve to just come back, take it one game at a time and take care of the games that we have (left),” said Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson.
After Thursday’s disappointment, the coach believes it’s within the players to lift themselves and do well in Saturday’s match against Costa Rica, and then against host Colombia on Monday.
“It’s always a difficult job, but we’ve to understand that we’re playing a team that’s ranked. We’ll get them up, I think they’ll be ready to play next game,” he said.
Apart from finding a source of motivating the Girlz, the coaching staff is confronted with injuries to ace Shaw and her strike partner, Jody Brown.
Both players are said to have twisted their ankle on the astroturf, which had probably as much impact as searing temperatures and humidity.
This forced two water breaks and the major difference this time is there might be more wind in the afternoon, as that has largely been the case.
“The ground temperature had to be 110 degrees with the heat coming off the turf also. It was a factor for both teams, but they seemed able to sustain the limit a little bit better than us,” Donaldson noted.
A win or draw would keep Jamaica’s hopes alive, but a defeat would put their qualifying hopes in a tailspin.