'We should not have lost' — Hallgrimsson
Jamaica's Omari Hutchinson skips a challenge from Trinidad and Tobago's Kaile Auvray during the friendly international at Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday.(Photo: Paul Reid)

CATHERINE HALL, St James — After losing 0-1 to Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday in his first home game as head coach of the Reggae Boyz, Heimir Hallgrimsson says he expects the Jamaica team to be better in Tuesday's second friendly international.

Hallgrimsson said while there were many positives from the game at Montego Bay Sports Complex where a number of players got their first chance to play for the national senior team, there were things they can improve for the next game set for the National Stadium. There, he said, those who did not play on Saturday will get the chance to show their worth.

A second-half goal from substitute Reon Moore was the difference between the teams, tilting the overall head-to-head record in Trinidad and Tobago's favour — 26 wins to 25 for Jamaica, while 10 matches have been drawn.

"You never want to lose a game, you always feel sad losing," Hallgrimsson said.

Jamaica's Jourdaine Fletcher (right) takes on Trinidad and Tobago's Jesse Williams during the friendly international at Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday.(Photo: Paul Reid)

"All coaches like to win matches, but to play the first game here, I thought we did not deserve to lose it, if you look at the chances, but we can improve a lot of things.

Angus Eve, the Trinidad and Tobago coach, was happy with the win by his home-based team.

"For us to come and grind out a win I think is a fantastic for this young team," he told the Jamaica Observer.

After a cautious first half during which there were few chances to score, the game opened up in the second period with Jamaica's 19-year-old Chelsea FC player Omari Hutchinson taking on more responsibility to push the team forward as the hosts had Trinidad penned down for long periods.

Jamaica's goalkeeper Kemar Foster helped his cause with a good shift and could not be blamed for the goal. He made two good saves, one in the first half when he reacted well to keep out a ball that deflected off a defender, and was off his line early in the second half to stop a Trinidad attack.

"We created a lot of chances, we created a lot of positions where we should have created better, but we [overplayed] the chances too much. We played too much instead of delivering it in the box, or shoot or cross, we were just always passing at times," Hallgrimsson said.

"Another positive was a lot of players were playing their first national team match and so that goes into their experience bank, and we played 17 players. We made all the subs available, but as I said there are a lot of things we can improve from this game," he told journalists.

Hallgrimsson said Trinidad's goal came from one of the few chances in the second half.

"We had created both late in the first half and early in the second half, we created a lot of chances and in just one moment they are one up and from then it was more panic than maybe quality."

The Reggae Boyz boss said part of their game plan was to "play from the wings and use crosses".

He added: "But we should give credit to Trinidad as well, they played a tactical game and we knew they would kick the long ball and we conceded from the long ball, we did not cope with the long ball in the first half. If we play similar to today with just a few corrections, we will play a better game."

Eve, the former Trinidad international, was happy with the result, especially because he said they missed an entire week of preparation during the Trinidad carnival as stadia were used for fetes and concerts.

"We really showed some mettle away from home, it's a difficult place for Trinidad to play, we have not won since 2013, I think and for us to come and grind out a win, I think is fantastic for this young team."

Eve said some media reports coming out of Jamaica had made his "team talk easier".

He added: "They said we coming here to get licks, we were happy for that type of motivation for our players as we know what we have in Trinidad, we constantly develop players. We are not fortunate to have a number of players to come from big leagues abroad, so we train the boys that we have and you saw the evidence and in bits and pieces it was really good and we got the victory and defensively we were very strong."

"I think we shut them down well, we did our research, we were only able to get two [Jamaica] games, against Argentina and Cameroon, but we saw what they were doing there and we worked on that and we know that we have good pace."

Paul Reid

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