Jamaica U17 women gain experience vs. Costa Rica
The Jamaica U17 women’s team (pictured) lines up prior to its friendly against visiting Costa Rica on October 1, 2017, in Kingston, Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Despite a 3-1 loss, Jamaica submitted an improved performance in the second of its two-match, under-17 women’s series against visiting Costa Rica on Sunday at Winchester Park on the campus of St. George’s College.

The Ticas did all their scoring in the first half as Andrea Capmany (25’) opened made it 1-0, before Pamela Gutierrez (36’, 41’) struck for a brace. Davia Richards (87’) pulled a goal back for the host with three minutes remaining in normal time.

Jamaica head coach Xavier Gilbert, a former footballer and cricketer at the school where the game was played, learned a lot about his team from the pair of outings.

“We came up against a very tough Costa Rican team,” said Gilbert. “There is a reason why they (the Costa Ricans) are one of the best in CONCACAF. I see we are creating more chances and being more physical in games.”

The Reggae Girlz are preparing for the final round of Caribbean qualifying for the 2018 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship, where they will square off against Bermuda on October 18 and then face Trinidad & Tobago two days later. Both matches will be played at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“I feel confident going into the [Caribbean] Qualifiers in Haiti that we can defend our Caribbean title and qualify for the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship next year.”

Jamaica captain Monique Perrier believed that gaining experience against quality teams like Costa Rica will prove to be a benefit moving forward.

 “I feel that compared to Friday, where we lost 3-0, that our team improved tremendously today,” she said. “I see growth in our passing, our shooting and the way we defend. Unfortunately, we did not get the result, but it is a stepping stone for us as we prepare for the qualifiers coming up in a few weeks from now. These games were key in our development for sure.”