WCQ: USA and Jamaica Reggae Boyz preview
By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Tuesday, 16 October
Captain Horace Burrell, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation, is urging fans at ‘The Office’ to get behind the Reggae Boyz in their bid to qualify for the next 2014 World Cup qualifying stage.
Jamaica must defeat rock bottom Antigua & Barbuda in tonight’s final group game by a three-goal margin, played at the National Stadium in Kingston, and rely on a victory for one of the sides in the USA v Guatemala contest to move into the next stage.
Jamaica, who have only qualified for one World Cup finals, remain full of confidence even though they were held in Antigua & Barbuda and that the USA required a last-gasp goal to defeat the minnows 2-1 on Friday evening.
Burrell explained: “I’ve seen the commitment of the players and the staff, so I know that they’ll do what they have to do to take us to the next round. I call on Jamaicans to give them all the support for the match.”
Head coach Theodore Whitmore admitted: “We’re still in the race and even though we don’t fully have things in our hands, we have our final game at home.
“But we need the support of our Jamaican people, the same people who came out when we recently created history by defeating the United States for the first time at the senior level.
“These same people were with us when we qualified for the World Cup in 1998 and I know with them we will be fine.”
Guatemala and USA head the group table on 10 points, with a superior goal difference of three over the Reggae Boyz on seven points.
Should Jamaica and either Guatemala or USA finish tonight’s final group games with 10 points, then there are methods to divide the teams.
Firstly, there is the goal difference resulting from the group matches between the two teams concerned. Secondly, there’s the greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the two teams. Thirdly, the goals scored away from home count double between the two teams. And the final scenerio would be a play-off at a neutral ground should the teams still be tied.