Mark your calendars. This Friday, Good Friday, March 25, 2016, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz play the first of two home and home CONCACAF Round 4 World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica at the National Stadium in Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica. Next Tuesday, March 29, 2016, sees the Boyz in San Jose, Costa Rica to close out the final of their 2 game vs Costa Rica.
Costa Rica currently leads the group that has Panama, Haiti and Jamaica, with 6 points from 2 matches, followed by Panama and Jamaica on 3 points, with Panama ahead on goal difference. Haiti has no points from their 2 games and is hoping to pick up valuable points when they play Panama in a home and home as well.
You may remember the November 16, 2015 article Reggae Boyz must win vs Haiti… where I stated that, not only must the Reggae Boyz win that game (they did), but they need a minimum of 10 points to stand a chance of finishing in one of the two slots making it to the the final round of qualifier. That means, they need a minimum of 7 more points, after defeating Haiti 1-0 in November. If you do the Math, they can gain that minimum of 10 points only if they lose no more than 1 of the 4 remaining matches.
Now, 10 points does not guarantee them a position. 11 or 12 might. Here’s a re-hash / update:
1. The Boyz won vs Haiti so they are looking for at least 7 more points.
a. 15 points -> 5–1-0 (15 + 0 + 0 = 15) - most likely tops group. I don’t expect this from any team.
b. 13 points -> 4-1-1 (12 + 0 + 1 = 13) - guarantees them into next round.
d. 12 points -> 4-2-0 (12 + 0 + 0 = 12) - most likely puts them in
e. 11 points -> 3-1-2 ( 9 + 0 + 2 = 11) - could put them in
f. 10 points -> 3-2-1 ( 9 + 0 + 1 = 10) - minimum #points they need to have a serious chance
Jamaica has 2 home games and, after their terrible showing vs Panama at home (a game they lost 0-2), will be looking to win both home games, giving them 6 points. Then, they need 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 points from the 2 away games. I will be rooting for the Boyz to pick up 3, 4, or 6 points from the 2 games vs Costa Rica.
IFs and ANDs
If in the 2 home and home games vs Costa Rica the Boyz pick up
- 1 or 2 points (1 or 2 drawn) – they’d need to win the final 2 to finish with 10 or 11 points.
- 3 points (1 win, 1 loss) – they’d need to win at least 1 and draw 1 of final 2 to finish with at least 10 points
- 4 points (1 win, 1 draw) – they’d need to win at least 1 match of final 2 to finish with at least 10 points
- 6 points (2 wins) – they’d be in a commanding position which they could just win 1 or draw both of final matches and I believe they’d be into the next round
Only time will tell. If any of the above 4 occurs Friday + next Tuesday, you can gauge where the Boyz are, and what they need to do a few months from now when they play their final two matches away to Panama and home vs Haiti.
The Boyz have so many overseas players, especially in England (various leagues), who usually joins the rest of the team a couple days before the game. I never like that. I really don’t like that. I don’t think they get enough practice time together, with the decision to select so many overseas players. For instance, the overseas players arrive in Jamaica today to start their practice, perhaps tomorrow, for a Friday game.
I would really love to hear from football (soccer) fans everywhere on this. Do you agree or do you have anything to add?