'Maybe the injury affected the team' - Blake
National men's senior team captain and outstanding goalkeeper AndrE Blake said that his injury that led to him being replaced midway the first half of the CONCACAF Gold Cup final might have affected the team.
Jamaica suffered a 2-1 loss to hosts the United States of America (USA) in the final at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara last Wednesday evening.
Blake was injured in the 23rd minute with the scored locked at 0-0 and was replaced by Dwayne Miller.
The Philadelphia Union keeper continued his stellar form heading into the game, saving Jozy Altidore's long-distance drive and then snuffing Kellyn Acosta's rebound attempt from point-blank range. But Blake paid dearly for his bravery. His finger on his right hand was damaged as a result of Acosta's attempt.
"I think that maybe it (the injury) affected the guys psychologically when I had to come out of the game; that can play a major role, but I can't stand here and say if I was still in the game, we would have won. It did happen, and it is football," Blake who won the Golden Glove for being the tournament's top goalkeeper, said after the final.
"I am feeling better, thanks be to God. Nothing is broken. I got a pretty bad cut, got seven stitches, so I just have to take it one step at a time. It will be 10 days before the stitches come out, so after that it is going to be a day-to-day assessment," Blake, who won three man-of-the-match awards from five games in the Gold Cup, disclosed.
"After I made the first save, I saw that the guy (Acosta) was coming, so I was just trying to get to the ball before him. When I got a touch on the ball his studs caught me and just ripped it (finger) opened," he explained.
Blake said it was a great tournament for the Reggae Boyz, despite losing in the final.
"For Jamaica, it was a great run, one of the best moments for me," he said. "The consistency was an important part of that and I think that there is still more that I can do. It is just work in progress. I just have to keep my head, keep doing what I am doing, and for me the sky is the limit," he shared.
"I want to commend the guys. Everyone gave their best shot, and it is just unfortunate that we weren't able to come out on top," he added.