Gordon impressed with Girlz 9-1 show

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago — After the Jamaica's senior women's football team beat Bermuda 9-1 to seal their spot in the CONCACAF stage of World Cup qualifying, head coach Merron Gordon expressed pleasure at how the players handled themselves in Thursday's rout.

The win moved the Reggae Girlz to six points and ensured they can finish no lower than second in Group A, effectively booking a berth to CONCACAF qualifying in the United States later this year.

"Congratulations to the Girlz because our objectives have been met. We came here firstly to qualify for the CONCACAF round and after the two wins we have done that," a relaxed-looking Gordon told the Jamaica Observer.

The coach had been highly critical of the uninspired display in the 4-1 defeat of Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

A draw or a win today against Haiti, who are second due to a lesser goal difference, will throw them into the championship final on Tuesday. A loss and the Reggae Girlz would end second in the group, leaving them to contest the third-placed play-off.

Shakira Duncan, Jamaica's goal-scoring machine, hit four goals against the out-matched Bermuda team to lift her tournament tally to six, while midfielder Donna-Kay Henry struck a double. An own goal by a Bermuda defender and strikes by captain Alicia Wilson and substitute Venicia Reid completed the demolition job.

Still, Gordon felt his team — also wasteful against Puerto Rico — should have scored more against Bermuda.

"I still think we need to convert a higher percentage of our chances. Though we won 9-1, we could have won by a larger margin."

The Reggae Girlz coach was also critical of the team giving up a goal late in the game when Bermuda's Shuntae Todd broke clear behind the defence to score past goalkeeper Nicole McClure. But he explained that the players will be more focused in more competitive fixtures.

"I'm a bit disappointed about conceding again and it's two games and now two goals. It doesn't look good for the defensive unit. But I think sometimes playing a softer team the defenders lapse sometimes. I think if we were playing a tougher team they wouldn't have conceded. Also, we entered the game hunting goals; we pushed forward and tactically we didn't react to the long balls properly. We'll certainly rectify it for the other games," Gordon insisted.

— Sanjay Myers




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