Dominican Republic “dig deep” to reach semifinals
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic always knew that their quarterfinal match with Jamaica in the 2020 Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championship was never going to be easy.
Adding to the complexity was playing for the first time in the tournament at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, as opposed to the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, and playing in the early afternoon, rather than in the evening.
Yet there was never a worry, as their preparation handsomely paid off with a history-making result: a 2-1 win that makes this team the first ever Dominican Republic side to reach the semifinals of a Concacaf tournament at any level, men’s or women’s.
“We worked really hard in training trying to contain Jamaica’s offensive play, their fast play on the wings,” said Head Coach Diego Gutierrez in an exclusive post-match interview with Concacaf.com.
“We knew that if we could play a high line of pressure, we could accomplish great things. This is the result of hard work and great physical preparation. This is the result of effort, dedication, passion and the commitment to give their all,” added Gutierrez.
One of the many heroes on the day for the Dominican Republic was FW Mia Asenjo, who scored the winning goal in the 74’.
“I got a burst of energy and had to dig deep inside myself and find that energy,” said Asenjo to Concacaf.com. “At that moment when I saved the ball from going out of bounds, I knew that was my opportunity to go.”
After that, it was a matter of closing things out and it took every ounce of effort to do it.
“Jamaica is a very good team, but we had to come out stronger, we had to come out on top, we had to dig deep,” concluded Asenjo.