Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson likened their Women’s World Cup last-16 clash against Colombia in Melbourne on Tuesday to a boxing bout and pledged to be the ones delivering the knockout punch.
Both sides are gunning to make the last eight for the first time with a clash against either European champions England or another tournament surprise-package, Nigeria, at stake.
“They’re all big games, this is just a different round, so the approach, we are not going to change much,” said Donaldson, whose side have yet to concede a goal, holding powerhouses France and Brazil.
“We are going to come up and give it a good shot. Someone will be knocked out, like a boxing match, someone will go down. We’re going to be the one standing when the game is over.”
While the 51st-ranked Reggae Girlz have yet to concede, they have only scored once — against Panama through Paris Saint-Germain’s Allyson Swaby.
Donaldson admitted that must change.
“The lack of goals coming in, I don’t think it’s a major concern to us,” he said.
“We have played some good teams here, France and Brazil, two of the top teams in the world and we were actually supposed to be losing by six or seven, according to the critics.
“To get through the (group) round you just need to do what you have to do. But obviously now we need to score goals to win this game or we are knocked out.”
An impressive Colombia, ranked 26, are banking on two teenage stars to help steer them into the last eight.
Real Madrid striker Linda Caicedo has already announced herself to the world with goals in wins against South Korea and Germany during the group phase.
She is set to be joined by fellow 18-year-old Ana Maria Guzman in her tournament debut with attacking defender Manuela Vanegas suspended after two yellow cards.
– Extra special –
Coach Nelson Abadia has mentored both Caicedo and Guzman since they were 12 years old and has full faith they will rise to the occasion.
“I have 23 players and they are all very talented,” said Abadia, who is renowned for sticking with the same starting team where possible.
“I’m fully confident in Ana, she is very capable.”
Guzman played at last year’s under-17 World Cup in India where they lost 1-0 to Spain in the final, and said she was ready to step up.
“I will play any position, left or right and enjoy every second,” said the Deportivo Pereira player, sitting next to her coach.
“It’s a great opportunity. The coach has been a key person in my life, he has always supported me and I want to give my best.
“To be playing with Linda is extra special. Yes, we are the youngest, but we will break our backs for this shirt,” she added.
Guzman is expected to be the only change to the team that lost 1-0 to Morocco in their last group game.
Abadia said he was wary of a Jamaican side who have defended consistently well at the World Cup.
“We know what Jamaica offer, they are a very solid team in defence,” he said. “We must pay attention to the counter-attack as well, because they are very strong in that area t