Hallgrimsson hails effort despite 3-0 defeat
The Heimir Hallgrimsson era as national senior men's coach may have started with a defeat but the Icelander says he is not dismayed with the effort that the team displayed. He is hoping that it will be a platform to build on for their future.
Jamaica were beaten 3-0 by Argentina in their international friendly last night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, with Julian Alvarez opening the scoring in the 13th minute and substitute Lionel Messi getting two brilliant goals in the 86th and 89th minutes as Hallgrimsson got to evaluate his team for first time competitively.
Acknowledging how he would not have had Argentina who will be competing in the 2022 World Cup in two months time as opponents to start his tenure, Hallgrimsson said that he was pleased with the team's effort and commitment despite the limited preparation time.
"We are never happy to lose and 3-0 is a big number even though it is good team that we are playing. But I don't think that it reflects the game as a whole and it doesn't reflect the performance of our players," Hallgrimsson said. "I think we showed an excellent team performance for 80 minutes. We lost focus in possession which led to the free kick (scored by Messi) for the third goal and that cannot happen."
Jamaica managed only two shots the entire game although they had moments in the second half where they made things uncomfortable for Argentina, although lacking cutting edge in the final third.
"We kept them from creating goal-scoring chances more or less until the 80th minute. After the first 10 minutes we were finding our feet. After that we really felt comfortable in how we played our defensive game," Hallgrimsson said. "Yes it's hard to play against Argentina with all these individual qualities, but I think we grew into the game. We got moments where we could have got better with the cross or the final pass or the counter attack."
With another opportunity to assess the team on November 9 against Cameron, Hallgrimsson is optimistic of what lies ahead having seen the total commitment that he asked for from his players.
"It is a lot to build on and I hope that people see that it was good effort from the players. They gave it all and you can see that the players are real tired after this one," Hallgrimsson remarked. "Performance wise, effort wise the players were trying absolutely the best."