Jamaica let home field advantage
Jamaica Reggae Boyz have only
themselves to blame for having to sit in the basement of the
Hexagonal standings. The Boyz did not capitalize on home
field advantage after letting Panama off the hook in
Kingston. Jamaica had Panama on the ropes in the first
half of their second match before a sold out crowd at the
National Stadium but could not increase the 1-0 lead on
Marvin Elliott's header in the 23rd minute from a Demar
Phillips left side corner.
With the score within reach
Panama found their rhythm in the second half and ILuis
Henriquez scored in the 66th minute to create a momentum
shift which presented Jamaica fans with some anxious moments
in the later stages of the match.
The Boyz traveled to Costa Rica
for the next match and with a chance to take the early lead
ans quiet the home crowd forward Garath McCleary shot
straight to Costa Rica goalkeeper Luis Mejia. Luton
Shelton had a g;orious opportunity to score the equalizer
for Jamaica in the first half but after dribbling two
defenders his inside of the foot placement shot blocked by a
defender after he made one move to often after having the
goalkeeper at his mercy.
The Costa Rica loss is a bit
disheartening for Reggae Boyz supporters, but the race is
still relatively close. Jamaica is within striking
distance of first place Panama which has only three more
points than Jamaica. However, the upcoming games against
Mexico and USA at the Office in Kingston will determine how
much Jamaica team has jelled since team chemistry is lacking
to gain positive result from consistent performances.
open Hex with historic draw
Jamaica opened its CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifier in the
Hexagonal (Hex) round with a scoreless draw against Mexico.
It is an impressive result since the match was played at the
Aztec Stadium in Mexico City where the Reggae Boyz usually
comes up empty. Mexico for the most part has been invincible at home, not
only against CONCACAF opponents but
against the best football nations in the
It is ironic that Mexico and USA are favored to advance out
of the three automatic CONCACAF spots to the 2014 FIFA World
Cup in Brazil, while Jamaica and Costa Rica were suppose to
be the odd teams out. But after the first round of matches Jamaica and Costa Rica
impressive performances with both teams playing on the road.
It has set up what will be a
very interesting and unpredictable Hexagonal race from start
After game one, Mexico has one point and USA zero
both teams at the bottom of the group standings. Honduras jumped
into first place after beating USA 2-1 at Olympic Stadium in
San Pedro while Costa Rica sits in second place ahead of
Panama after erasing a two goal deficit in Panama City for a
Jamaica is in the best position in fourth place after
leaving Mexico with one point. Mexico will have to turn
things around which should make Jamaica feat in Mexico
almost impossible for any other team in the Hexagonal round
to accomplish for the rest of the schedule.
Jamaica host Panama at the Office in Kingston for its next
match on March 22nd.
“A sense of Urgency”
Kick off to the CONCACAF Hexagonal (Hex) round is only weeks
away and although Mexico and USA are favored to advance out
of the three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in
Brazil, Jamaica Reggae Boyz is very much in the mix as the
last Caribbean Hope.
Jamaica opens the Hex round against Mexico in Mexico City on
February 6th, and I consider it to be a game that
will bring out the best in the Reggae Boyz since motivation
is a factor. Players usually relish playing against the best
and Mexico is undoubtedly the best team in the region at
Taking everything in context I feel like Jamaica has nothing
to lose and all to gain in Mexico. The most important thing
in that game is for the Reggae Boyz to give a good
performance and keep the score close.
While all games are important, Jamaica (next) game against
Panama is huge in terms of importance.
Jamaica not only has to get positive results at the Office
against Panama on March 22nd but the Boyz has to
show up for their point in Costa Rica four days later (March
The Hex is very competitive and there is not much difference
in the teams. According to the Hex trend any of the six
participating teams can lose away from home and style of
play may only determine which team had the advantage in the
run of play, but at times not on the scoreboard.
Player’s availability is the key since injury and
suspensions can be hindrances. Mental and physical readiness
has to be expected when technical and tactical maneuvers
will create individual brilliance at opportune times for
teams to score and win games.
Mexico USA, Panama and Honduras were picked by the pundits
as the four teams to advance, but the last time I I looked at
the matchups, Jamaica and Costa Rica chances seemed just as
good as any of the other teams.
With only three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Brazil, the fourth spot is another way of getting to Brazil.
It is what I call the scenic route, via a playoff series
against the winner of the Oceania region.
The most successful trend has been to take care of home
field advantage. It does not always hold true when the race
tightens in the second half of the schedule but at the last
(2010) Hexagonal round there were no undefeated teams at the
end of the first half of the schedule based on the home
Trinidad and Tobago was the only team which had lost at home
(Tobago) to Costa Rica in the first half of the 2010
schedule while home field was instrumental in El Salvador
upsetting Mexico and Costa Rica defeating both USA and
Hence, it is important for Jamaica fans to turn out in their
large numbers to support the Reggae Boyz who has had an
undefeated streak at the Office in Kingston in the
semi-final round of the 2010 WCQ that included Mexico,
Honduras and Canada and seems more capable this time around.
So let’s go Jamaica!!!!
CONCACAF 2014 WCQ
Soccer Analyst & Producer
…..Will advance but it will not be as easy as the previous
semi-final round when they clinched with two games in hand
There are 10 games to play in the Hex and Mexico may find
out that the last two might be their most important while
their undefeated WCQ run could also be a thing of the past.
....Is no a sure bet to qualify for an automatic spot in
the first three with the way Panama and Honduras have
played. USA performance in the last round was not that
impressive but their soccer/football program is the best in
the region. Since they literally play some of their home
games without the 12th man advantage the United States will
prove once again that preparation and tactical readiness are
key factors in winning close games.
Was the best performing (besides Mexico) and most consistent
team in the semis but nothing is a given in the Hexagonal
round. With their explosive style of play Panama will also
have to concentrate on keeping their emotions in check. At
the least, Panama should be in the first four finishers, but
a means to their end will be in their early results at home. Panama
plays 3 of their 4 first matches at home and failure to take
advantage will put them a great disadvantage.
...Made a late surge in the
semi-final round to win its Group C. But the jury is out on
how good the team really is. In a must win situation they
defeated Canada 8-1 to advance, but Los Catrachos also lost
at home against Panama to open the round. With none of the
teams losing at home in the 2010 Hex' and Honduras opening
their 2014 Hex' schedule at home against USA and Mexico
respectively, it will set the stage for where their campaign
Rica.... Advanced after playing
one decisive game against El Salvador where they
won 1-0. However, just like they did against El Salvador, El Ticos has the players and the style of play to get positive
results against their Central American neighbours. Their
schedule is a bit different to the other in that they play
their first two games on the road against Panama and USA. So
expect to make a late surge with a realistic chance to be
the team to change the complexion of the CONCACAF final four
... Did what it had to do to
advance to the Hex, but was the only team which needed help.
The Reggae Boyz did not help the JFF cause to harness
support for home field advantage. The Boyz failed to advance
to the final four at the Caribbean Championships.
Home field is what usually separates teams in the Hex and
without it the Reggae Boyz will find the mission to 2014
Brazil near impossible. With home field advantage and a
revamped offense the sky is the limit to what Jamaica can
achieve..... Stay Tuned!!
2014 WCQ Final (Hexagonal) Round
schedule of play for the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of the
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is as follows (home team is listed
CONCACAF 2014 WCQ
semi final Projection
big news in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers thus far is
Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda advancement into the
third round after defeating Caribbean Powerhouses
Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti respectively. The tremor
occurred on Friday November 11 when Guyana defeated the
Soca Warriors 2-1 at Georgetown’s Providence Stadium to
win Group B. Ricky Shakes scored Guyana’s first goal in
the 10th minute and Leon Cort provided the insurance
goal in the 81st minute. Kenwyne Jones scored T&T
consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time.
topic of contentions in Trinidad was on fellow
Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz who lead Guyana Golden
Jaguars to their historic win against Trinidad and
Tobago as the coach. It was the first time that Guyana
had beaten T&T and its first advancement into the third
round of a World Cup qualifier..
Barbuda created shockwaves at Warner Park Stadium in
Antigua with a 1-0 win over Haiti. Kerry Skepple scored
the lone goal in the 82nd minute to clinch the Group F
title. Antigua will face the United States, Jamaica, and
Guatemala, in the next (third) round. The other teams
which advanced out of the second round were: Canada,
(clinched a spot from a scoreless draw in an away game
with St Kitts and Nevis to win Group D), El Salvador
(won Group A after beating Suriname 3-1), and Guatemala,
and Panama which had little resistance in winning their
E and C Group respectively.
anticipation of which of the six teams will advance from
the highly competitive third round, it is important to
look at the legitimacy of the top six seed which
received byes into the third round.
still has to play but they are almost a shoe in to
advance to the final (six) ‘hexagonal’ stage
main competition will be Jamaica and since to this point
Jamaica has never beaten USA it is safe to pick USA to
has the talent and with the experience they should
advance in spite of Guatemala’s improve play. Jamaica
only real challenge is to beat USA at the Office in
Kingston to gain momentum for the rest of the
and El Salvador have to fight for one
spot in Group B because of Mexico’s dominance. However,
El Salvador defeated Mexico in the 2010 WCQ and can
split games with Costa Rica. The second spot should go
to the team which can gain a point against Mexico and
Costa Rica has the advantage in that regard.
is in the group (C) of death with Canada, Panama and
Cuba. This group will be a reflection of the final round
of six, where the top teams have to win at home, beat
the weakest team in the group twice, and gain points on
the road. Honduras has the edge to advance based on its
international fan base advantage.
gained a bye into the third round but it is the weakest
team in Group C. Canada is in a good position to advance
out of this group, but the team has to hit the ground
running and take the early points, by gaining 7 of its
first available 9 points. Canada has two of its first
three games at home and its opening game against Cuba in
is the most dangerous team in the 2014 CONCACAF World
Cup qualifiers and can create the biggest story of the
CONCACAF WCQ out of Group C (the Group of Death). But,
discipline must be maintaine
CONCACAF WCQ Final
(Hex) Round 2010 South Africa
South Africa: Costa Rica was
eliminated in Playoff series by
Costa Rica 1
Mexico, & Honduras clinch while Costa Rica lost in
the results of the final CONCACAF qualifying matches
last Wednesday, USA leads the CONCACAF Final round
qualifiers with 20 points while Mexico and Honduras
finished second and third respectively to secure the
three automatic spots to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South
did what was necessary against Trinidad and Tobago, in
what turned out to be a dull affair with almost the same
amount of Mexican supporters in attendance as Soca
Warriors supporters. The game ended 2-2 and it and it
seemed like every time T&T scored, Mexico responded
Mexico second equalizer in
minute to make it a 2-2 ball game. It was a neat
placement by Carlos Salcido to set up a somewhat exciting
finish to the dull game. Both teams missed late chances by
hitting the crossbar as the game finished in a deserving 2-2
the tie Mexico finished in second place with 19 points,
one point behind USA. Trinidad and Tobago finished their
2010 campaign in last place with 6 points in the
Hexagonal round. Honduras finished in third place with
16 points after defeating El Salvador 1-0, while Costa
Rica finished in fourth place on goal difference after
allowing USA to come back from a two goal half time
deficit to tie 2-2 in the 4th minute of injury time.
Honduras defeat El Salvador 1-0 to clinch the third and
final spot after Costa Rica tie with USA. Costa Rica now
has to play Uruguay, the fifth place South American team
in a home and away playoff series to get to the 2010
Costa Rica was eliminated from 1-0 loss to Uruguay in
its first game at home after drawing the second game 1-1
on November 18 in Uruguay to lose on aggregate.
South Africa scores