Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mexico v Jamaica: Herrera wary of first-time finalists

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Jul 2015

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Mexico coach Miguel Herrera warned his team against taking Jamaica lightly in their CONCACAF Gold Cup final on Sunday.

Herrera’s men claimed a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Panama after extra time in their semi-final in Atlanta.

They needed a late penalty from Andres Guardado to equalise in regulation time, and a second Guardado spot-kick saw them eventually capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Herrera had been under growing pressure at the helm after several unconvincing performances.

His team only won one group game – thrashing Cuba – as they finished second to Trinidad and Tobago.

Mexico then scraped past Costa Rica thanks to a 124th-minute penalty from Guardado and that spot-kick was also controversial.

However, Herrera’s team are just a win away from claiming their nation’s 10th Gold Cup crown – and they are favourites to do so.

The coach said Jamaica had shown their quality, denying suggestions the tournament was easier after United States’ semi-final loss to Winfried Schafer’s side.

“United States played a great game, came, but did not take chances,” Herrera said.

“Jamaica plays well, keep possession well and have quick players.

“We have to be attentive, nothing is easy.”

Guardado has scored five goals at the tournament, including all three – and all penalties – of Mexico’s goals in the knockout stages.

For Jamaica, Sunday’s clash at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will mark their first Gold Cup final.

Schafer’s men finished top of their group before edging Haiti and upsetting USA on their way to the final.

Former Derby County and West Brom attacker Giles Barnes, now at Houston Dynamo, and Reading winger Garath McCleary have led the way.

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