Reggae Boyz in do-or-die part one against Mexico...USA wait in the wings

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The Reggae Boyz will resume action in their quest for World Cup glory

when they face off with Mexico tomorrow night in a 2014 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers in a crucial affair at the National Stadium at 8:30pm. Both teams are in a situation where they need to pick up points urgently. Mexico sits in 5th place in the table with 3 points from their 3 games while Jamaica sits at the bottom of the group with 2 points from their 3 games.

With Mexico participating in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in the middle of June they have introduced some new faces to the team and have called back some veteran players to their unit. One in particular is Mexico’s number one goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. The 6 foot 1 inch 27 year old goalkeeper who plays for AC Ajaccio in Ligue 1 in France is expected to replace Corona who kept the Reggae Boyz at bay in the historic 0-0 draw at the Azteca back in February.

A new face that the Reggae Boyz will need to keep their eye on is 22 year old 6 foot 3 inch striker Raul Jimenez.  The lanky forward is known for playing more as a supporting striker or as a false number nine. The America man is known for creating valuable assists and with his height and physical presence is known for danger from set pieces and 50/50 balls.

For Jamaica to keep Jimenez quiet they are going to need a composed central defender who is agile, comfortable on and off the ball and is a resilient player in defending. Jamaica has those qualities through new Reggae Boy Daniel Gordon who is expected to play alongside the tried and tested Adrian Mariappa. Gordon the 6 foot 4 inch central defender was born in Dortmund, Germany and has roots to Jamaica through his grandparents. The 28 year old centre back plays for Karlsruher SC in 3.Liga.  The Former FSV Frankfurt man is a very calm and composed player who is known for his agility, sharpness and tactical discipline. He can also be a threat from set pieces as his dominating frame has paid dividends for Karlsruher as he has scored and also supplied valuable assists for his team. Gordon could be truly an asset for the Reggae Boyz as he could help take away the sting and venom from the Mexicans attack.

Positively for Jamaica, the inform and preferred striker Jermaine Beckford has scored 5 goals in his last 4 games for Huddersfield Town which helped them to finish the Championship season in mid table. In total Beckford has scored 8 goals in 20 appearances for Huddersfield this season. With Beckford’s clinical finishing, he could provide a potent force with Darren Mattocks for Jamaica who will be looking to claw maximum points against the Mexicans.

The Mexicans will certainly have their hands full when they take on the Jamaicans, however they will be desperate for points as they are yet to pick up a win in this Hexagonal round. Jamaica are yet to get their first win of the final round as well so an all out effort will be made to move to 5 points and up the table. If Jamaica is able to maintain possession and apply penetration from the flanks, 3 points could be a reality for Reggae Boyz. This match is not one to miss; it is bound to be an exciting affair.


Writer: Owen Hill