Football chief undaunted by Jamaica's loss
Kingston, March 30 (IANS/CMC)
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) chief Horace Burrell says he is not daunted by the country’s loss to Costa Rica in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier.
The last English speaking Caribbean country in the running for World Cup qualification, Jamaica suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional, Tuesday.
The loss plunged the Reggae Boyz, who drew one all with Panama four days earlier, to the bottom of the six-nation round-robin play-offs on two points.
“One has to remember that it is not an easy achievement qualifying for a World Cup Final and you’re going to have these kinks. We still have seven games to go, I say again, seven games to go and I am not daunted,” declared Burrell.
“World Cup qualification is not for the faint-hearted; you have to be courageous, you’ve to be strong, you’ve to be positive and that’s how we are now; we’re still in it, we just hit a bump in the road”.
The Jamaicans are within a win of the leading team Panama who top the standings on five points, while the United States, Honduras and Costa Rica are next on four, with Mexico, on three.
All the teams have played three matches.
“What this shows is that it’s a very tight group because Mexico, the traditional winners, would have been without any question at this stage on nine points,” said the JFF president.
“They are only on three points from three games; this is unprecedented for Mexico at this stage and, therefore, it just goes to show how competitive the group is”.
Jamaica and CONCACAF giants Mexico, two teams desperate for points, will do battle on June 4 at the national stadium.
Jamaica’s preparation for that crucial fixture includes a one week training camp in the Bahamas and an international friendly against English top flight team Tottenham Hotspurs.
“That game is going to be massive because we’re at home, Mexico has not been able to dominate us, especially in The Office, and definitely at this time they’re a nervous team because they’ve already played two home games and gotten two out of six points, so that makes it for Mexico very troubling,” the JFF president argued.
“I expect a huge game come June 4 and I expect us to be very ready for that in light of the fact that we’ll be in a camp before that, in The Bahamas, and we’ll be going up against Tottenham Hotspurs, so I’m still feeling positive about our chances,” he said.