Despite his team's 3-0 defeat to Argentina in their international friendly match on Tuesday, Jamaica senior men's football team Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson says that there are many positives that he saw in the game that can be built upon for the future.
"We lost 3-0 and we are never happy to lose because 3-0 is a big number, even though it is a big team that we were playing," Hallgrimsson said.
"I don't think it [score] reflects the game as a whole, and it doesn't reflect the performance of our players. I think we showed an excellent team performance for 80 minutes. We lost a little focus in possession and that led to the free kick and second goal, and I think from that we lost even more focus for the third goal and this cannot happen. But that was the negative thing in this match, but we kept them from creating goalscoring chances more or less until the 80th minute."
Hallgrimsson says that the Jamaicans took too long to settle into the game because they allowed the Argentinians to dominate early possession, which resulted in the first goal in the 13th minute by Julian Alvarez. Lionel Messi (86th and 89th) was the other scorer for the Argentinians in the match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
However, Hallgrimsson says that there were many moments in the first half when they had opportunities to score.
"Maybe after the first 10 minutes we were finding our feet and finding the shape," he said. "I think we really felt comfortable in how we played our defensive game, and, yes, it is hard to play against a team like Argentina with all these individual qualities.
"We got moments where we could have [scored] with a cross or a final pass or the counter-attack, we had possibilities where we could have equalised the game.
"There is a lot to build on and I think and hope that people see that it was a good effort from the players that they gave it their all."
The Icelander said that there is much work to be done, but he is feeling positive about the future because the players have shown their willingness and desire to give it their all for the country.
"I am totally unhappy with the 3-0, but performance-wise and effort-wise I think the players tried their absolute best," he said.
"We were a little bit far away from the opponent from the first minute. I think they realise that they need to be a lot closer to the opponent and don't give them time on the ball, so when a quality team like Argentina has time on the ball in attacking areas, then they are always going to create chances."