Jamaica spirit pleases Whitmore
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Jamaica's Je-Vaughn Watson (green jersey) scores against host Guyana in a Caribbean Cup match on October 11, 2016, in Leonora.

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica – After his side scored three unanswered goals to defeat host Guyana, 3-2, in a 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup match earlier in the month, Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore expressed his satisfaction with the performance.

It was the first time that the Reggae Boyz rallied from a two-goal deficit to get a result since March 28, 2003, when they drew 2-2 with Martinique in a Caribbean qualifying tournament for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“I saw something I have not seen in the national team for some time and that is fight from our players,” said Whitmore. “They showed hunger and, in the 2nd half, we could see Guyana was getting tired, so our pace and long balls truly gave them some problems. At the end of the day, it is three points for us. Now we have to keep up that spirit for Suriname.”

Jamaica will host Suriname on November 13 in the last Group 1 match, with the winner securing a place in the 2017 Gold Cup. The sides were initially scheduled to meet on October 5 in Kingston, but that encounter was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew.

Under Whitmore’s leadership through four spells as manager, Jamaicans has lost only twice to Caribbean opposition, falling to French Guiana (2-1) and Cuba (1-0) in the 2012 Caribbean Cup.

Despite such an impressive past, Whitmore is warning against complacency.

“We are happy with the 3 points, however, the job is not over yet,” the 44-year-old finished. “We need to take care of the business against Suriname too. After that we can think about Caribbean Cup semi-finals and then 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

Whitmore is the only individual to win the Caribbean Cup as a player (1998) and as a head coach (2010).