Olympic Games at stake for Girlz

September 26, 2023
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz will have it all to do when they take on Olympic Games football champions Canada in the second leg of their Concacaf Olympic qualifier at the BMO Stadium in Toronto this evening at 6.

The Jamaicans trail the North Americans 2-0 following Friday's first leg at the National Stadium in Kingston, and coach Lorne Donaldson admitted it will be arduous.

"Chasing a lead, a lot of times you tend to give up another one, so we now have to go to Canada and try to change our fortunes and try to make something of the game.

"Chasing the game can be very difficult when playing good teams. Canada are the defending champions, and I think we forgot that. Chasing them is going to be a difficult task. Games like these, you score first, you get a result," Donaldson commented.

In their last five games, the Girlz have scored only one goal, while only Canada and Colombia have breached their defence in their previous six matches.

Donaldson insists their offensive proficiency will not improve overnight but swore they aim to find a way.

"You can't just convert defence into attack. You have to play a lot of games. Canada played over 100 games together. We are a team coming together and are still searching for combinations we think can work.

"Scoring goals is difficult, and we haven't played any team that is a slouch. It doesn't get easier playing teams like Canada, France and Brazil. Hopefully, we can find a way to get through the situation and score some goals," he said.

Meanwhile, the Reggae Girlz will be bolstered by the return of some players to full fitness, and Donaldson said he will have his full complement to choose from.

"(Tiffany) Cameron was carrying a little strain (Friday). We didn't want to chance it and make it worse.

"Chantelle (Swaby) was carrying a bad sprain, but we think she will be okay. Everybody should be okay and ready to go. Everybody should be available," he said.

Meanwhile, Canada's coach, Beverly Priestman, said it's not over and expects another tough match from the World Cup round-of- sixteen Jamaica.

"The job is only half done, and with the Olympic Games on the line, we have to be ready because the second match is going to be just as difficult to get a result," she said.

In this tie, away goals count for a double in the event of a tie, so Jamaica must score three or more, without Canada scoring, to win.

Should Jamaica win a 2-0 margin, the game will go to penalty shoot-out.

Canada remain the favourite to win, with 10 consecutive wins over their opponents.


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