Whitmore blasts complacency despite winning start to Gold Cup

Observer writer

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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LOSING finalists at the last two Concacaf Gold Cup tournaments, Jamaica, got their 2019 campaign off to a winning start with a 3-2 win over Honduras at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday night.

A first half brace from first-time scorer for the national senior team Dever Orgil, who was on target in the 15th and 41st minutes, had given the hosts a comfortable 2-0 half-time lead.

Antony Lozano cut the deficit to one for Honduras early in the second half, but they had very little time to celebrate being back in the game before a towering header from central defender Damion Lowe restored the two goal advantage for the Reggae Boyz.

Careless defending by the Jamaican team restored a fleeting moment of hope for the visitors who again cut the deficit to one goal in added time at the end of the game.

The Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore-coached team held on for the win in the end and climbed atop Group C on goal difference after El Salvador edged Curacao 1-0 in the day's opening encounter.

“It's the start of the competition. At tournaments sometimes it's not about pretty football, it's about results, but overall I think there was complacency, especially when we were leading by two goals. I think complacency cost us two goals tonight,” said a solemn Whitmore at the post-game press conference.

With very little time between the win and the next assignment on Friday, the former World Cup player says fixing things on the defensive end will be his main priority.

“One critical area needs fixing and it is definitely at the back,” he said bluntly.

“Going forward we need to fix a lot of things in terms of putting pressure on the ball and cutting off the passing lanes much quicker.

“We didn't execute (the game plan) 100 per cent because we weren't tracking and I think our flank players got caught two versus one all the time, especially the last goal we gave up, it was a two versus one situation,” he admitted.

One of the positives that the Jamaican head coach took away from the night was the performance of the two goal hero. Orgill.

“Orgill is on the field to do what Orgill does and I think he did just that. He is an excellent player, (he) works hard, he got two goals, so I am very pleased with his performance,” Whitmore said.

One of the players that the 17,000 strong crowd came out to see was Leon Bailey, and despite one or two moments the 21-year-old had a somewhat subdued debut.

“He wasn't 100 per cent as he is coming off an injury, he hasn't played for quite a while,” explained Whitmore.

“Of course it was good to have him on the pitch this evening, to give him a lot more playing time, I think he could have contributed a lot more, but I am satisfied with his performance.”

Jamaica will next face El Salvador in an early top of the table Group C clash on Friday at 6:00 pm while the two teams that lost on Monday, Honduras and Curacao will face of at 8:30 pm.

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