Victory charge

Reggae Girlz in do-or-die showdown with Italy

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE 2019 FIFA
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP FINALS
In France

Friday, June 14, 2019

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REIMS, France — After four days of contemplation and preparation, Jamaica's Reggae Girlz will be back in action with hopes of bouncing back from their opening defeat at the Fifa Women's World Cup here.

The Girlz will take the pitch for what is expected to be another tough Group C assignment against Italy at Stade Auguste-Delaune today at 6:00 pm (11:00 am Jamaica time).

With the Australians rebounding from their opening loss (1-2 to Italy), the Jamaicans are seeking to do the same, as they are well aware that they require a positive result in order to keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive.

Currently at the foot of the four-team standings without a point, Head coach Hue Menzies and his Reggae Girlz team view their current situation as motivation to go out and execute efficiently to attain the desired result.

Despite yesterday's 2-3 loss to Australia, Brazil continue to head the group with a better goal difference over Italy and Australia.

The Reggae Girlz were by no means embarrassed in their opening game against Brazil despite coming out on the wrong end of a 0-3 scoreline.

Having gone back to the drawing board to correct their faults, Menzies is expecting an even more credible performance, pointing out that there could be some rotation for the game.

“Overall the mood is good, but we still have to make sure they understand that they need to get a result so as coaches we still have to keep their tempo up to let them know that they are in an environment to have fun, but at the same time we have to go out there and grind.

“There will be few changes, but we are not sure as yet because we still have to get a medical report,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer shortly after their final training session at Stade de Reims Institution de football yesterday.

“Obviously the Italians are a disciplined team, they do a very good job protecting their box and they have some special players, so it will be key for us to ensure that we keep an eye on them. They already got a result, so obviously they want to win this game to get into a little bit more of a comfort zone, so we are going to look to make some changes and try to counteract their play,” he added.

Having three players who ply their trade professionally in Italy offers some comfort to Jamaica Reggae Girlz team, but Menzies knows very well that getting the required result will come down to proper execution.

The likes of Trudi Carter and Allyson Swaby, who play for Italian club AS Roma as well as Pink Sport Time representative Toriana Patterson could be crucial for the Reggae Girlz on the day.

“It releases the fear of who you are playing against because there will be some familiarity out there for some of the players and hopefully they can read that into the team. We have been fortunate enough to play against Brazil, which gave us a huge amount of experience so we feel more comfortable.

“But it is a plus when you have players who play in the same league and in the same team with some of those players, it kind of eases the tension within the squad. So, we just have to hope that we execute... we are a young team, but we understand that we need to be resilient here and hopefully get a result,” Menzies reasoned.

With the tactician keeping hiscards close to his chest, it is still yet to be ascertained who will be fitted in the starting team and if the coaching staff will be sticking with the customary 4-3-3 or switch to a 4-4-2.

However, based on observation at training, Sydney Schneider seems likely to again start in goal, shadowed by captain Konya Plummer, Allyson Swaby and Deneisha Blackwood, with Sashana Campbell, possibly taking up the right full back position, replacing Dominique Bond-Flasza.

Toriana Patterson could take up the holding midfield position from Marlo Sweatman, joining Havana Solaun, while young Jody Brown and Olufolasade Adamolekun could possibly be placed in the wide channels.

The prolific Khadija “Bunny” Shaw and Cheyna Matthews could be installed up front.

“I do think they have some areas that we can exploit, so hopefully we will have a very good game against them tomorrow (today). We have to go out there and play because the Italians put on their shoes the same way we put on our shoes, so nothing should change in that matter,” Menzies noted.


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