Boyz remain focused on springing upset on Messi’s Argentina

And what a mighty occasion it is.

Facing an early exit from their historic participation in the oldest continental tournament after two defeats, the Jamaicans face a Lionel Messi-led Argentina tomorrow in a match-up few give them a chance of coming out of on top.

But the Boyz are welcoming this challenge with collective open arms, maintaining the positive attitude they have displayed in this tournament, even as they suffer defeat.

Before their defeat on Tuesday to Paraguay, Jamaica had lost their opening game to Uruguay, also 0-1 on Saturday.

With hopes all but lost for a second-round berth, the Boyz remain fired up to end their campaign with a flourish. As ambitious as it may sound considering the enormity of the odds and the size of the opposition, the Boyz are still determined to spring a gigantic upset against the two-time World Cup champions.

“We have nothing to lose, we just have to go out there with the same professionalism that we applied on the pitch against Uruguay and do our best. It is a very good team, but they are struggling at the moment with scoring.

“All the games are very tight, so it is one of them where we have to just focusand we cannot just be like because we are already eliminated we don’t show up,” said Captain Rodolph Austin.

And for Adrian Mariappa, it will be another great game for the the players to test themselves.

“Obviously, they have got some real world-class players in this team, so now it is to put our focus towards that and try and go out there and get a good result,” he said.

New boy Michael Hector remains upbeat that, with a favourable bounce of the ball, anything is possible.

“You never know with football, anything can happen on the day. But we’ve got to cut out the silly mistakes that lead to the goals, and if we stay solid then a set piece or a counter attack could do it.

“We are good going forward, we are quick, we are strong; I think we need to use that to our advantage and try and cause an upset because, if we want to stay in the competition, we got to beat Argentina.”

But whatever the outcome, the Boyz are grateful for the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best teams and players in the sport.

“It’s fantastic, to be honest. the camaraderie. I think the players applied themselves very well; the group is good, very professional and it’s a very good experience for everyone and it is something we can take to the Gold Cup to know that we did okay and to stand a better chance of winning that competition,” Austin ended.

For Hector, despite the two losses, the experience of playing in the Copa America will be an enduring memory.

“Yeah, it’s been a great experience, coming out to Chile and playing against these world-class teams. It’s a great experience for me and my teammates and it’s one that I will keep for the rest of my life,” said the 22-year-old.

The contingent was scheduled to depart Antofagasta at midday yesterday for Santiago, from where they travel an hour and a half by road to Vina Del Mar, the city where they will tackle Argentina to end their stay in the competition.


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