Goalie Spencer urges Reggae Girlz to learn from errors
Jamaica's goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer (left) catches the ball in front of teammate Deneisha Blackwood during the Women's World Cup Group F match against Brazil in Melbourne, Australia, on August 2, 2023. (Photo: AP)

Rebecca Spencer, the senior Reggae Girlz goalkeeper, is urging her colleagues to learn from their mistakes in time for the second-leg Olympic Games football qualifier away to Canada on Tuesday.

The Jamaicans went down 0-2 to the visiting North American side in the first game at the National Stadium on Friday.

Canada took an early lead when Nichelle Prince scored a header just 18 minutes in. Ashley Lawrence raced by Deneisha Blackwood down the right wing and sent a superbly weighted cross that Prince tucked home with a glancing header for her 14th international goal in 92 games.

The Canadians maintained control before Adriana Leon sealed the victory three minutes into stoppage time with a volley after Gabrielle Carle's cross.

SPENCER...we need to learn from our mistakes with the goals we conceded.

Spencer expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which they gave up the goals.

"I think the team performed well in spells and were disappointed with the goals we conceded," the 32-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.

"You know, we [went] through the whole [2023] World Cup and only conceded one goal against the world's best players. And today [Friday] we have gone out there and conceded goals that we should not have.

"We need to learn from our mistakes with the goals we conceded. You know, we just have to go out there and attack and try and win the game on Tuesday," she said, looking ahead to the second and final match of the series to be held in Toronto inside an expected jam-packed BMO Field.

On Friday, Spencer kept the Jamaicans alive as Canada dominated proceedings.

She made an excellent save 12 minutes into the second half as the Reggae Girlz were trailing 0-1. Spencer, a Tottenham Hotspur player, got a leg to a Leon shot after Quinn won possession for the visitors.

The Jamaicans, on the other hand, got their fair number of opportunities but failed to capitalise on them.

The hosts had the first chance to score, but skipper Khadija Shaw was unable to convert after a lovely pass from Blackwood in the fourth minute.

Jody Brown showed fancy footwork, but took one too many touches inside the box in the 13th minute and squandered an opportunity.

After a turnover by Canadian Jade Rose, the Reggae Girlz had a chance to tie the encounter in the 34th minute but a lunging Vanessa Gilles diverted Cheyna Matthews' shot off target.

In the 66th minute, Jamaica substitute Tiffany Cameron threatened but her shot flew just high after Canada struggled to clear the ball.

"We have played some really good football in some different styles to our play and it wasn't so defensive and we went out there in ultra attacking mood as well," Spencer noted.

"We had created some really good opportunities so that's something we can take into the next game. We need to look back and see what we can do differently and try making it work. I just concentrate on all of the stuff that I need to concentrate on and just try and do a good job for the team," she said.

BY RUDDY ALLEN Staff reporter ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

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