Hard work paying off, says prolific Phillips

June 12th, 2011

MIAMI, Florida — Jamaica’s Demar Phillips (top) follows through on a shot while being challenged by Jonathan Lopez of Guatemala during their CONCACAF Gold Cup match at the FIU Stadium on Friday. Jamaica won the game 2-0. (Photo: AFP)

NEW JERSEY, USA — Three goals in two games for a wing midfielder is very impressive by any standards, but for Jamaica’s Demar Phillips, it is just rewards for all the hard work he has put in on the training pitch.

The 27-year-old Aleusunds left-sided player is now the leading goalscorer for the Reggae Boyz at this year’s edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament after notching a brace in Jamaica’s 2-0 victory over Guatemala at the Florida International University (FIU) Stadium on Friday night.

“It’s a great feeling, anyone scoring three goals in two games it must be a great feeling, but it is just the hard work paying off now and I feel fit and ready to go for the next game,” he told reporters at a post-game press conference on Friday night.

Friday’s triumph propelled Jamaica into the second round of the tournament for the fifth time in their eighth appearance. The former Waterhouse left wingback had also scored Jamaica’s third goal in their 4-0 win over Grenada in their first game at the Home Depot Center last Monday.

Not surprisingly, he was voted the Miller Lite Man-of-the-Match for his two goals against Guatemala, for which he received a 15-inch Miller Lite cup.

He was elated with the personal award, but said the team victory, which guaranteed advancement to the second phase, was more important.

“It’s a team sport and if my strike force wasn’t at its best today (Friday) anyone can go out there and pick up on it. In the team I think we can score goals all around the pitch, it’s not only me, I think we have a lot of players who can score goals.

“To go through to the knockout round early is good, we are on top of the group now, so that is good.”

Phillips broke the deadlock and settled his team’s nerves in the 65th minute when he received a well-weighted pass from substitute Keammar Daley, and with an immaculate first touch, he got inside and ahead of his marker, dribbled into the danger area before placing the ball into the far corner of the goal with goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez well beaten.

Twelve minutes from the end he made the game safe when he raced into the box to turn home a ball pulled back by Dane Richards, who had done great work to create the opening.

He thought his run from deep caught out the Guatemalan defenders.

“The first goal it was actually a good pass from my teammate and I think I caught the defence flat-footed, I don’t think they were looking for the run from behind, so that was a good build-up from the team. It was a perfect pass and I just looked up and put it in the back of the net.”

Phillips believed it was a genuine team effort that got them the win.

“It is not only me, it’s all about a team sport and everyone played a part and we worked hard as a team and as a group and I want to congratulate the coaching staff and the management staff for the hard work they put in, and that’s how we have to pay them back, by going on the pitch and putting on a good show,” he concluded.

Source:JamaicaObserver

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