Guatemala and Jamaica Draw in Friendly Match
The national teams of Guatemala and Jamaica played to a tie last Saturday, November 11, at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. This match marked the end of the year for the Guatemalan team.
Coach Tena’s Perspective
Luis Fernando Tena, the coach of the Guatemalan National Team, found the match to be valuable as he introduced new players and analyzed potential profiles that could contribute to their qualification campaign for the 2026 World Cup.
Coach Hallgrímsson’s Opinion
However, Heimir Hallgrímsson, the coach of Jamaica, had a different view of the match. In an interview with the media outlet Jamaica Gleaner, he referred to it as a “distraction.”
Coach Hallgrímsson’s Disapproval
Hallgrímsson even went as far as stating that the coaching staff did not request the match. Their focus was on the upcoming Nations League matches against Canada, which would determine their qualification for Copa América USA 2024.
He expressed his dissatisfaction, stating, “The decision to play this match was made by the federation and not us.”
Furthermore, Hallgrímsson argued that it was unfair to provide players with only two training sessions and one match to prove themselves for the national team. He emphasized the importance of granting them more playing time and opportunities to showcase their abilities.
Regarding the match against Guatemala, Hallgrímsson remarked, “Considering the significance of the two games against Canada, this one was a distraction for the coaching staff and coaches. We should have solely focused on the two crucial games against Canada.”
He concluded by acknowledging Guatemala’s strength in counterpressing and expressed relief that they did not create many scoring chances during the match.
Jamaica’s upcoming match against Canada will take place on Friday, November 17, at the National Stadium, followed by the second leg on the 21st at BMO Field in North America.
Reggae Boyz coach Heimir Hallgrimsson says their recent international friendly against Guatemala was a distraction, following the teams’ 0-0 draw at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, United States, on Saturday.
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— Jamaica Gleaner (@JamaicaGleaner) November 14, 2023