DENVER — Mexico goalkeeper Moises Munoz got his first start of the Gold Cup on Thursday but feels like he's still yet to face any sort of threat.
Jamaica failed to log a single shot on target in a scoreless draw that frustrated Munoz and his teammates not only because of their own inability to find the back of the net but for the Caribbean side's defensive outlook.
"They didn’t cause us any problems at all. I sweated more in the warm-ups than in the 90 minutes of the game," Munoz said after the game. "There was no issue in front of our goal, especially because they didn’t come to play. They only came to defend by parking the bus. They stayed back. It’s sad to find ourselves in games like this, but that’s our confederation. We’ve got to know the way we should play to break up these kinds of tactics."
Teams regularly set up a bunker against Mexico in CONCACAF play, but none have executed it as well as the Reggae Boyz. Mexico finished with two-thirds of the possession and put six shots on target. One more shot hit the crossbar - an Erick "Cubo" Torres header - and Jesus Molina had his effort saved off the line by a defender. Otherwise, Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake stood tall. While Curacao hasn't been as defensively stout in the tournament, conceding two goals each in defeats to Jamaica and El Salvador, Munoz is worried the Caribbean champion may look to match what Jamaica did Thursday.
"What happened today, Curacao might try to emulate," he said. "We’ve got to work in the days before then to try and find ways to open up these defense that Curacao could play. We definitely have to get a goal because we want to advance as the first-place team."
While Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore made no secret of the fact that Jamaica's game plan was to play on the counterattack, he lamented his side's inability to launch attacks with any kind of pace.
"I think the players were afraid to take risks," he said in his post-match news conference. "We mentioned it in the dressing room at halftime that the transition was a bit slow in attack. We had Darren Mattocks out front and we had speed outside and each time we had the ball to go forward, we go back. It’s a game-by-game situation and we just have to keep improving."
However, Munoz was left to feel like he was among the paying fans at Sports Authority Field as he watched his teammates try and fail to break through the Jamaica back line.
"It’s really a desperate situation just to be there watching the game," the goalkeeper said. "I was one more fan in the stadium, practically, the whole 90 minutes just watching my teammates try to score, trying to do something about the Jamaican defense. They just came here to do that and they got away with it.
"They tried to just defend the whole 90 minutes, they did exactly that. We’re a little bit frustrated because we couldn’t get the score that would’ve let us have a lot more space in the game."