Hall still hopeful in spite of defeat

January 28, 2022
Jamaica head coach Paul Hall in the dugout during their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday.
Jamaica head coach Paul Hall in the dugout during their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday.
Jamaica’s Daniel Johnson drives towards Mexico’s area while faced by Luis Rodriguez during their FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.
Jamaica’s Daniel Johnson drives towards Mexico’s area while faced by Luis Rodriguez during their FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.
Jamaica’s Michail Antonio during their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.
Jamaica’s Michail Antonio during their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.
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National senior football team head coach Paul Hall says that they have not waved the white flag on their FIFA World Cup qualifying chances, despite losing 2-1 to Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.

Daniel Johnson gave the Reggae Boyz the lead in the 50th minute but goals from Henry Martin in the 81st minute, and Alexis Vega in the 83rd completed a comeback in a game where Jamaica played an entire half with 10 men. Damion Lowe was sent off in the second minute of first-half stoppage time for a dangerous foul.

Jamaica entered the game needing to win to begin a revival of their qualifying hopes with games running out. Despite losing at home for the second time in the campaign, and only accumulating two points in four home games, Hall said that they will fight to the last.

"I think as long as there is a mathematical chance, we are okay," Hall said after the game. "What I want to see from the players is that we can go somewhere and we can get a result. I will always until the last minute tell the players, 'Let's go for the game, let's go for the win.'

"With about 15 minutes to go, we thought that we probably beat the Mexicans.

Lowe's sending off was courtesy of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which made its Caribbean debut last night. Even with the man disadvantage, the Reggae Boyz managed to improve their attacking play in the second half, with Johnson scoring his second international goal then held the Mexicans at bay for half an hour.

Changes were made to the defence late on as Javain Brown was replaced by Alvas Powell, with the former unable to continue. Despite the added defender, Jamaica conceded twice in the space of two minutes. Hall said that the substitution was necessary for players to share the responsibilities with some in their pre-season with their clubs.

"We tried to change them with players that weren't in pre-season," he said. "Javain asked to come off because I think he hit that brick wall. I just told him to be honest, 'If you can't carry on, just let us know.'

"We wanted to get those to guys to share a game when necessary. It may have contributed to the team losing, but there were many factors that contributed to the team losing."

Despite praising the fighting spirit shown after the sending off, Hall said that Mexico's use of the ball late was the deciding factor.

Jamaica leaves today in preparation for their World Cup qualifier against Panama on Sunday.

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