PASADENA, California – Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore did not mince his words speaking about the stunning 1-0 victory over Mexico on Sunday night that boosted the Reggae Boyz into the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
“The best way to put it, the biblical story, David slew Goliath,” expressed Whitmore. “Words can't explain it. The guys were hungry. They needed it more than the Mexicans and we did what they had to do.”
That was to reach the championship game for the second consecutive time. In 2015, the Caribbean power lost to Mexico in the final, 3-1. It got a measure of sporting revenge Sunday behind Kemar Lawrence's 88th-minute free kick at the Rose Bowl.
"This is only stage for greater things," Whitmore stressed. "We still have a lot of work to do. We don't want to get carried away. We don't want to get overconfident, despite what we have achieved over the past couple of days. We just want to remain focused and stick to the job at hand."
That would be beating the five-time champion United States in Santa Clara, California, Wednesday night.
"We are enjoying it," said Whitmore, 44, who appeared in three Gold Cups for Jamaica as a player. "I don't want us to lose focus. We lost the last Gold Cup to Mexico. We don't want history to repeat itself by being at two finals and being run out. We're aiming for the gold."
The U.S. and Mexico have combined to hoist the Gold Cup trophy in 12 of the 13 previous editions. Jamaica – along with 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica – appear close to earning a place at that exclusive CONCACAF table.
"That's a cycle we want to break," Whitmore concluded. "That's something we discuss. It's always Mexico and U.S. We want to be in that top group.