(ABOVE) Action from the friendly between the Cayman Islands (white jersey) and host Montego Bay United on March 6, 2015, at Wespow Park.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Within 12 hours of departing Owen Roberts International Airport on Friday, the Cayman Islands national team heard the whistle that signalled the start of its friendly against host and current Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League champion Montego Bay United.
After dropping a 3-1 decision at Wespow Park, Cayman Islands head coach Alexander Gonzalez spoke with the assembled media and acknowledged that fatigue played a part in the defeat. However, with the first round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup quickly approaching, he was already looking forward to Sunday’s encounter against the Jamaica under-23 national team.
“We hope that the players will get some rest and we have two more days here so we hope the conditions will be better,” the Cuban-born manager said through an interpreter. “We know it’s the Jamaica under-23 team and we hope to go out and compete.
“We need to continue to work hard in the tactical aspects of the game. It’s something we need to work on.”
Montego Bay United jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals by Allan Ottey (29’), Jerome Haughton (38’) and second-half substitute Kashief Brown (67’), before Andres Ruiz (78’) lobbed over goalkeeper Duvaun Smith to pull one back for Cayman.
“Fundamentally, we need to work on the mental aspects of the game,” Gonzalez stressed. “A lot of the players are young. The average age is 23 and when they find themselves in difficult situations we lose our shape and concentration and this is something we hope to get from this game going forward.”
Cayman is scheduled to commence its World Cup Qualifying campaign at Belize on March 25, before entertaining the Central Americans four days later.