Shakira Duncan (right) and Christina Murray celebrate after Jamaica scores in a 6-0 win over Martinique in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on October 16, 2014, in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Shakira Duncan holds herself and her team to a high standard.
While most players would be happy in any game to score a goal and feature in the creation of several others, the 25-year-old felt that she could have done even more in Jamaica’s 6-0 win over Martinique on Thursday in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
“Honestly, any forward would have wanted more, but I’m happy with the outcome,” said Duncan. “When we got into it, we just started bouncing it and doing what we are supposed to do. It’s not the way we wanted it, but it was a good win…can’t complain.”
Well, Duncan did more than create scoring opportunities for others. She was a dominant presence – mostly operating from the left side of the field -- combining impressive dribbling skills with a telling touch, superior vision and astounding speed
A thirst for goals was clearly evident, but Duncan’s willingness to share the spoils stood out admirably.
“I hoped to have more assists, but I tried,” remarked the Waterhouse FC forward, who scored an extraordinary 14 goals in Caribbean qualifying for the Confederation event. “The goals just weren’t coming. I say if they weren’t coming from me, it was better they were coming from my teammates, so I tried to feed them the ball.”
Duncan presents an impressive business-like attitude to football. There are FIFA World Cup places at stake and one can sense that she’s on a personal mission to make certain the Reggae Girlz earn an invitation to the Canada 2015 party.
An encounter against Costa Rica on Saturday in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview looms for the Jamaicans. The Ticas – a 1-0 winner over Mexico -- will present a challenge different than the one posed by Martinique.
“We’re going to go into the Costa Rica game and the remaining game (against Mexico) as if we’re playing the number one team in the world because everyone knows that CONCACAF has quality teams,” Duncan expressed. “That’s how we’re going to approach each game from now on.”
Adherence to that perspective could help Jamaica go a long way in this competition. There’s a palpable sense that the Caribbean runner-up could be moving in a special direction, but diversions need to be avoided.
“We’re just looking at the bigger picture,” Duncan finished. “We’re just looking forward to being able to say that we qualified for the World Cup.
“So we’re just going to go out there and take each game a step at a time