It does not take much to swing the game in the favor of one team, especially when the teams are evenly match…and all it takes is a little bit of LUCK.
According to the pundits, the USA was supposed to win, but the reggae boyz had other plans. They came to play and win…and it showed from the start.
They ran hard, tackled hard, was their usual solid self in defense while launching the occasional attack on the US goal. They knew what was at stake, and they were ready. This was another chance for them to win their first gold cup.
Everything started out just fine. Andre Blake, the star of the competition, thus far, was his usual self…then it happened.
After making one of his trademark spectacular saves, he laid on the ground wincing in pain from a injured right hand… Every reggae boyz supporter held their breath hoping that the injury was not serious and that Blake would hop right up and back into goal…but it was not to be.
He had to be taken out of the game in what seemed to be a very serious injury. However, X-rays and scans said otherwise, he was okay, but his work was done for the night.
His absence would be the undoing of the reggae boyz. Though they fought hard, they missed their inspirational leader.
Substitute goalie Dwayne Miller, stepped up and gave a good account of himself, but he was not Blake.
The first USA goal, came moments later.
After making a couple good saves and doing well, Josie Altidore stepped up to a free kick from about 40 yards away from the Jamaican goal and curled the ball into the top left hand corner of the goal. Miller seemed to have made the mistake of standing too far ahead of his line and paid the price.
From such a far distance out, he seemed to have enough time to get over and parry the ball over the net, but it was not to be…perhaps Blake would have done better.
The second goal came on the 89th minuted from the young USA forward Jordan Morris. A defensive error sent the ball to the feet of morris. He quickly controlled it and drove it inches away away Miller outstretched arm into the left hand corner of the goal. Hmmm! With the kind of form Blake was in, one have to wonder, what would he have done?
However, it is what it is. Blake was not there, Miller gave his best shot, the reggae boyz played their hearts out…and lost. Tough Luck!
The team did an awesome job in the tournament exceeding many expectations and I am proud of them.
From what I saw tonight, if the reggae boyz can continue to improve on this tournaments performance, the future bodes very well for the team.
…and check this out, they were all local players.
Well done Tappa, well done Boyz…and “Nuff Respek”