Reggae Boyz captain Donovan Ricketts has called for calm and a reasoned approach as the nation savours its historic result against Mexico inside the Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night.
Ricketts, the 35-year-old veteran goalkeeper who was the third-string custodian at Jamaica's historic 1998 France World Cup Finals appearance, admitted that it was a good result in the much-feared environment, but he warned that it would all go to waste if the Reggae Boyz did not consolidate that result.
"It was a good point, but we just have to accept it as a good point on the road and don't look at the historical significance," he told the Jamaica Observer, while resting in his hotel room after the game.
"... because if we get a historical point here, and then we don't make it (qualify for the World Cup), it would be worthless. So we just take it as a point and move on and be ready for our next game. Because the ultimate goal is to get out in first, second or third place," added Ricketts, who now plies his trade with the Portland Timbers in the US Major League Soccer.
After being massively outplayed in five prior outings in Mexico — four at the Estadio Azteca and one at the Olympic Stadium — the Reggae Boyz stunned the near 35,000 spectators with a disciplined, committed, and feisty performance, which eventually evoked reluctant applause from the 'homesters', who dished out derisory boos for the home team.
The Reggae Boyz number one 'keeper, who last represented the nation in the opening game of the semi-final phase of the CONCACAF qualifiers last June against Guatemala, thought it was a good, tactical performance from his teammates.
"It was a good game, a very tough game, we had to do a lot of work defensively, but I think we defended well as a group, from the forwards to midfielders and back to defenders. So that's what it will take to get us in the top three," said the St James native, who helped the David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy to the American title two seasons ago.
Ricketts, who was called on to save his team on at least five occasions, including a brave last minute challenge on Manchester United's frontman, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, was most impressed with the Boyz's defensive execution.
"Being solid defensively, because when you go on the road you want a point to go back home and defend, and tonight it was a good defensive performance and it's a good place to start," was his response.
The 1.93-metre Ricketts was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the team he has led since the mid-2000.
"Basically, you could say that with us coming together for a couple of days and players relatively new to each other, in that sense, it was a surprise; but with the quality we put on the field, we could always expect good things from them," he reasoned.
And he was most moved by the manner in which the new players acquitted themselves and integrated themselves in the group.
"I think everyone fitted right into the team; and it looked like everyone was playing together for a long time. No one looked new or out of place, so I thought it was a good performance.
"We have a lot of things to work on, but it's the start of something new and it looks good," Ricketts ended.