Barnes: Jamaica could have beaten Costa Rica

Jamaica's Giles Barnes (pictured) attended a CONCACAF Gold Cup press conference on July 10, 2015, in Houston. (Photo: Mexsport)

HOUSTON, Texas – Despite Jamaica salvaging a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in its Group B opener in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, forward Giles Barnes felt his team squandered an opportunity.

“I thought it was a good team performance, [but] I think we felt we could have won the game,” he said. “We switched off slightly for their two goals, but if you look at the whole thing in general I think that we could have won the game.”

The Reggae Boyz can make amends against Canada on Saturday night in the second match for both sides at BBVA Compass Stadium, Barnes’ home venue with the Houston Dynamo, his Major League Soccer club.

“There has to be a lot of confidence going forward,” the 26-year-old stressed. “Obviously we took a lot of confidence coming out of the Copa America and obviously we have translated it into this tournament as well and against one of the favorites Costa Rica. We really felt we could have won the game.”

Many lessons were learned against the Costa Ricans, who grabbed a 2-1 halftime lead Wednesday. The Caribbean side came alive over the final 20 minutes of the first half, forcing goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado to produce several fine saves before Joel McAnuff tallied the equalizer five minutes after the break.

“That’s what happens when the game opens up, you get a lot of spaces,” Barnes said. “In the first 60 minutes it was a little more crowded but you know when two teams are going after it and they want to get those three early points, that’s what happens.

“Unfortunately we didn’t convert the chances but I think we are showing world football just what we are capable of.”

After Saturday’s game, the Jamaicans meet El Salvador at BMO Field in Toronto on Tuesday.