Reggae Boy Michael Hector believes Jamaica must be fearlesss in their CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final match against the United States at Georgia Dome today, kicking off at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. Jamaica time).
“We’ve got to come man to man and battle against them and win the personal battles first and then we can play,” Hector said after yesterday’s training at Emory University here.
“Obviously, if we give them time, they’re a good side and they can play; if we don’t give them time, I’ve seen them struggle a bit against Haiti,” he added.
The Americans beat Haiti in group play and came under a lot of pressure. It was the same, for Jamaica, which outlasted the Haitians in Saturday’s semi-final in Baltimore.
The United States have slammed in 10 goals while conceding two in four matches, with Clint Dempsey scoring six. Jamaica’s record of 13 losses, eight draws and one win isn’t encouraging either, but Hector said they should neither fear the striker nor his team.
“He’s a key member, but they’ve got a couple other players that can create chances. But he’s been scoring most of the goals for them, so we’ve got to keep an eye on him.”
The 23-year-old added: “We should not fear him. He’s a good player and if you give him space, he’ll hurt us, but if we shut out the space for him, he can’t do much to hurt us, so we have to make sure we’re on our toes and keep him quiet.
“We should not fear them. Obviously, they’re a good side. They’re in their backyard, they’re doing well, we’ve got respect, but sometimes it goes out the window when it comes to the game. We’ve got a lot of positives to take into the game and we feel that we can do well in this tournament.
“If we play well, I don’t see why we can’t beat them. If we keep a clean sheet and we do our work defensively, then it takes only one goal to win the game. That’s a key part of us, to soak up the pressure and then hit teams on the counter-attack. We’ve been doing that really well,” said