'We have to play our best game' - Reggae Girlz Donaldson prepared for battle against fit, disciplined Haiti for World Cup spot

By Sports Desk July 08, 2022

Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson believes the team will have to play its best game against Haiti if it is to secure one of the automatic spots to the FIFA women’s World Cup from the Concacaf W Championship.

Locked on three points each after two games, the Caribbean teams are set for a winner-take-all showdown on Monday, which will see the victor secure a spot at the global football showpiece event next year.

The stakes of the game will be even higher for the Reggae Girlz who must win to advance as they will head into the encounter trailing but goal difference.  By most metrics, the Haitian team has had a more impressive tournament to date.
The team began with a strong showing against the United States, who defeated them 3-0, a score that based on the run of play slightly flattered the Americans.  The USA went on to defeat the Jamaicans 5-0.  In their second match, the Haitians went on to devastate hosts Mexico 3-0.  The Jamaicans had only defeated the Mexicans 1-0, albeit missing several other presentable opportunities to score.  The Haitians unit has so shown a high level of fitness, skill, and extraordinary organization. It is a challenge Donaldson believes the team can meet.

“Coming into the tournament I always said Haiti would have a big part to play in this tournament.  They have been to the last U-17 championship, and they have been to the last U-20 championship.  So, people don’t understand the type of players Haiti has, they all play in France,” Donaldson said.

 “Their fitness is what most impresses me, their discipline, they have been playing together as a group for a long time.  They are well organized.  We have to go in now and try to execute.  We have to play one of our best games and we have to play football to win,” he added.

“If coming into the tournament, myself, the players if you had offered us this situation to be in, we would have taken it.”

Related items

  • Spezia 0-3 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen brutally punish errors to open 16-point lead Spezia 0-3 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen brutally punish errors to open 16-point lead

    Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen ruthlessly punished three defensive errors as Napoli beat Spezia 3-0 to increase their lead at the Serie A summit to 16 points.

    Luciano Spalletti's side may not have been at their swashbuckling best but produced a professional display at Stadio Alberto Picco on Sunday and never looked at risk of dropping points once they edged in front.

    An uneventful first half brought few clear-cut chances, but Napoli took charge of the contest just a minute into the second, with Kvaratskhelia coolly converting a penalty.

    Another mistake allowed Osimhen to score for the fifth league game in a row, and he netted again soon after as Spezia proved to be their own worst enemies.

    Both sides looked purposeful early on, with Kevin Agudelo threatening first as he blazed over following a driving run.

    Mattia Caldara then chested a Mario Rui cross just wide of his own goal at the other end, and from the subsequent corner Giovanni Di Lorenzo went agonisingly close with a glancing header.

    Proceedings soon calmed significantly, but Spezia gifted Napoli the breakthrough via a penalty concession a minute after the restart.

    Arkadiusz Reca blatantly handled the ball in the box and Kvaratskhelia slammed home his spot-kick.

    Osimhen was then on hand to capitalise on Ethan Ampadu's sliced clearance with 68 minutes played, nodding in above Dimitris Nikolaou and Bartlomiej Dragowski.

    The two goalscorers linked up five minutes later to finish Spezia off.

    Caldara inexplicably coughed up possession just outside his own box, allowing Kvaratskhelia to tee Osimhen up for a tap-in.

  • Messi contract talks continue as PSG advisor Campos targets agreement Messi contract talks continue as PSG advisor Campos targets agreement

    Paris Saint-Germain remain in contract talks with Lionel Messi, with the club's football advisor Luis Campos hopeful of reaching an agreement.

    Messi's two-year deal with PSG is due to expire at the end of the season, and the 35-year-old has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

    A return to Barcelona has also been mooted for Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory last year, winning the Golden Ball award following a series of talismanic displays in Qatar.

    While reports in December suggested he had reached an agreement in principle to stay with PSG, no announcement has been made on his future beyond this campaign.

    Campos has confirmed discussions are ongoing with Messi, who he hopes will renew after recording 29 goal involvements (15 goals, 14 assists) in 24 PSG appearances this season. 

    "I would like to have him in this project, I cannot hide it, I would be delighted if he continues with us," Campos told Telefoot.

    "But we are still discussing at the moment to achieve this goal, to continue to have Lionel Messi with us."

    PSG came close to recruiting another left-footed attacker as the January transfer window drew to a close, only for a proposed loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech to fall through.

    The Parisians were reportedly foiled by Chelsea's failure to submit the correct paperwork before the transfer deadline, leaving Campos in no doubt as to the Blues' responsibility for the failed move.

    "We had the player with us, we had done everything," he said. "But like in all transfers, we need the three parts, player and both clubs, to work well. 

    "In this case, it worked very well for PSG, it worked well with Ziyech and unfortunately it didn't work out for the last part."

  • 'Leao has a home at Milan' – Pato urges star forward to remain at San Siro 'Leao has a home at Milan' – Pato urges star forward to remain at San Siro

    Alexandre Pato has urged Milan forward Rafael Leao to stay put, claiming the Portugal international "has a home and everything he needs".

    Leao played a key role as Milan ended their 11-year wait for the Scudetto last season, scoring 11 goals for Stefano Pioli's side in Serie A.

    He has netted nine times this term for his club, while he also scored twice at the World Cup in Qatar.

    The 23-year-old, whose existing contract expires in 2024, has been linked with a move away from San Siro, with the Real Madrid, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool rumoured to be potential destinations.

    Reports in Italy have claimed discussions between Leao and Milan over a new deal had broken down, though these were dismissed by the club and the player's agent Ted Dimvula, who described it as "false and misleading information".

    Pato, who spent six years at Milan between 2007 and 2013, has encouraged Leao not to be swayed by outside influences.

    "He has to do what he feels with his heart, because sometimes you have too many people around you telling you what to do," the former Brazil striker told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "He must decide for what he thinks will make him happy. Leao, however, has a home at Milan, he has everything he needs."

    Pato feels Leao "can make the difference" in Sunday's Derby della Madonnina against rivals Inter, where Milan will be aiming to end a six-match winless streak.

    Part of the Scudetto-winning side of 2011, Pato believes this season's squad must improve their attitude, though he remains confident Pioli can inspire an upturn in fortunes.

    "The premise is that in my dressing room, there were quite a few legends," he observed. "Between training sessions and matches, there was no difference; the attitude was the same.

    "I was lucky enough to see [Paolo] Maldini train 110 per cent every day. He arrived earlier, did extra work. [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] the same, Cafu the same. Champions who didn't think about the clock, but only about working as hard as possible.

    "So more than talking, all you had to do to understand the right path was to observe. As for the current situation, I can only say that if they're using the same attitude as last year, it's not good.

    "Sometimes, the management that follows wins is more complicated than when you don't win. However, I'm sure that Pioli will turn the light back on."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.