The Reggae Boyz began their final round World Cup Qualifying campaign on a high with a historic draw against Mexico but left their second Match against Panama with somewhat deflated spirits with a 1-1 at home.
The Boyz must show bitter resolve as the play for crucial points against an angry Costa Rica team in their CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) final round football match at the Costa Rica National Stadium tonight.
Going to the World Cup should be enough motivation. Both teams will be eager to win following their previous qualifying matches Friday night.
Securing a 0-0 against Mexico in the Azteca stadium was an unbelievably difficult feat to achieve because of the high altitude of their stadium. Jamaica gave a sub standard performance at its home venue against Panama. Though not a loss, the draw deflated the team as they aimed at taking all three points to improve their chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals.
After two of 10 games in the final round, Jamaica sits on two points,tied with Mexico and Panama. However, on the basis of goal difference, we are second from bottom of the six teams. Honduras sits on top of the standing with four points, followed by the United States with three points.
The US won their match against Costa Rica in a controversial manner. Their match was played in heavy snow and had to be stopped during the game to allow the passage of a snowstorm. The Costa Ricans asked for the game to be called off to no avail. The Costa Ricans have since launched a protest to FIFA seeking a replay.
They are now last in the hexagonal with one point and desperately need a win to get their campaign back on track as only three of the six countries will automatically qualify for the Brazil 2014 championships. The team in fourth place will face the Oceania champions New Zealand for a World Cup berth.
The Costa Ricans have been victorious over us on 9 occasions from 21 meetings dating back to 1963. Despite those figures, Jamaica has not lost in the last three encounters between the teams, two of which ended in ties.
Both Jamaica and Costa Rica will be forced to play without a regular defender. Nyron Nosworthy sustained an Achilles tendon injury against Panama that will keep him out of action for four months, while Costa Rica’s Roy Miller picked up a second-half yellow card that kicked him out of the fixture.
Jermaine Taylor, an experienced central defender, will play alongside Adrian Mariappa for Jamaica tonight.
Head coach Theodore Whitmore and his assistant, Alfredo Montesso, worked on improving midfield coordination in an attempt to bolster the presence and control that were lacking in the Panama match.
The Boyz will be facing desperate opponents in a fairly hostile environment. The Battle for a spot in the World Cup will not be easy.
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