Donaldson praises van Zanten as girls claim third at CWC
National senior women's football team head coach Lorne Donaldson says the Concacaf Women's Championship (CWC) third-place play-off match was as tight as he expected. He also hailed goal scorer Kalyssa van Zanten as a young player coming into her own.
Jamaica claimed third spot at the Championship thanks to van Zanten's extra-time goal in a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Monterrey, Mexico, last night.
In the process, the Girlz kept themselves in the hunt for a place at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, and will play the runners-up of the tournament in a two-way tie in October to determine who qualifies. The United States of America and Canada were playing the CWC final at press time.
"We figured it was going to be a very tight game," Donaldson said after the game. "Every time we play Costa Rica, it comes down to the second half or overtime.
"We figured that if we could get some speed on the field late, when they are tiring, we could get something and Kiki (van Zanten) went in and scored a good goal.
"She has been in a few games, but she is a rookie. She tends to get over excited but this time, she was a lot calmer.
"I told her before she went in that she had a goal in her boot and she nodded. But she has gained confidence with the games. So she went in with some confidence and if these players have confidence, they will produce.
"We have a very far way to go, but it is good for Jamaica that we had two weeks of preparation and we can come in and do something like this."
Costa Rica started the brighter of the teams and had a good chance through Melissa Herrera in the sixth minute.
Jamaica gradually came into their own, but never really troubled Daniela Solera in the Costa Rican goal until late in the half, when Khadija Shaw received a loose ball in the box but failed to connect.
Drew Spence came close with a header at the start of the second half, while Fabiola Villalobos put a great chance over from six yards out.
Jody Brown then hit the bar, as Jamaica got closer, while Trudi Carter put another good effort wide towards the end.
However, Raquel Rodriguez had the best opportunity to give her team the win in added time, but her effort came off the post.
When regulation time failed to separate the teams, van Zanten, who only came into the game in the 99th minute, fired home the all-important goal three minutes later, after breaking away on Drew Spence's through ball and slotting past Solera.