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Reggae Boyz play for pride
June 13, 2016

Tonight, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz play their final match in the Copa America Centenario 2016 football (soccer) competition. Winless, pointless, goalless (same in 3 matches last time), can the Reggae Boyz save face with a win or tie against normally-powerful Uruguay after going down 0-1 and 0-2 to Venzuela and Mexico respectively? Can they score even once, after missing chance after chance against Mexico? Only time will tell.

I don’t know about you, but I want to see how they play tonight. They need to figure it out because they’re hanging on by a thread in World Cup Qualifying (WCQ), the penultimate group stage ending with 2 two matches vs Panama and Haiti in September. These are games the Boyz must win to improve their chances of qualifying for the final group of 6. Without insulting your intelligence, in order to win, the Boyz MUST score goals in both matches… something that seems to have eluded them much since the Gold Cup finals.

Reggae Boyz lay egg in Costa Rica

After giving up valuable points in the National Stadium on Good Friday (last week) where they gave up a 1-0 lead, the Reggae Boyz were embarrassed and outclassed by the Costa Ricans in Costa Rica.  The Boyz were hoping to salvage  at least one point but were beaten 3-0 by the Central Americans.

Adding insult to injury, Haiti held off Panama until late in that game when Panama scored that late goal to win and move into 2nd place.

So where do they stand now?  Jamaica can get a maximum of 10 points now but things are a lot worse if they are in a tie on points at the end.  The reason is their goal difference is terrible at this point (-4 vs +2 for PAN and +5 for CR).


Team Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Pts
 CR 3 1 0 7 2 +5 10
 PAN 2 1 1 4 2 +2 7
 JAM 1 1 2 2 6 −4 4
 HAI 0 1 3 0 3 −3 1


Qualification Scenarios

The Reggae Boyz no longer control their destiny. I still think getting 10 points is their only realistic chance, one where they depend far less on the outcome of other matches (help) and don’t have to necessarily win big.  After all, why would we expect them to win big when they’ve scored 2 goals in 4 matches?

There are multiple scenarios under which Jamaica qualifies for 5th round (final CONCACAF WC qualification round), only 2 being realistic.

1. Win last two matches (vs PAN & HAI) and PAN loses or ties against CR. — realistic

2. Win last two matches by a combined +5 (+2 & +3 or +3 & +2) goals and PAN defeats CR 1-0  — realistic

3. They tie PAN and wins big vs HAI then PAN loses to CR — any combination of +4 goals for JAM — semi-realistic

4. They win big vs PAN, ties vs HAI and PAN loses to CR.  — unrealistic

5. They win big vs PAN and HAI, CR loses big to HAI and PAN — very unrealistic

6. They win big vs PAN 3-0, loses to HAI 1-0;  PAN loses to CR big (by 2+ goals)


Missed Opportunities

Clearly the Boyz didn’t take advantage of opportunities at home (yielding 1 point from 2 home games) and they have not played well BUT there still is a chance.

What do you think?  If they do make it to the next round later this year, by any scenario I outline above, what needs to change?

On the other hand, if they don’t qualify, and it’s quite possible now, is this the end for Schaeffer?  What about Capt. Burrell who won re-election unopposed?


Boyz in Home and Home vs Costa Rica

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.


One Note

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?

Reggae Boyz in must win vs Haiti tomorrow (Tuesday Nov 17)
November 16, 2015

With 5 games to go in the group stage after losing 0-2 at home to Panama, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz finds itself in what I believe is a “must win” away game against Haiti in a strong group that sees the top 2 advancing to the final 6-team group round of CONCACAF World Cup 2018 qualifications.

In theory, the Boyz can lose this game and still qualify. I am not that terrible at Mathematics. The reasons I consider this a must-win are:

1. The Boyz are looking for 10 points or more. With a loss, they can get a maximum of 12 points. With a draw, their maximum possible points is 13.
I believe that will get them into the next round.
a. 15 points -> 5 wins – 1 loss, which most likely tops group. I don’t expect this from any team.
b. 13 points -> 4-1-1 (12 + 0 + 1 = 13)
d. 12 points -> 4-2-0 (12 + 0 + 0 = 12)
e. 11 points -> 3-1-2 ( 9 + 0 + 2 = 11)
f. 10 points -> 3-2-1 ( 9 + 0 + 1 = 10)

2. A draw or loss against Haiti keeps the Boyz in 4th pla… er… last place in the group with 4 matches to go.

3. It only gets tougher so winning this may puts them in 3rd or maybe 2nd place, with 4 matches left next year.

4. With Panama easily defeating Jamaica in Kingston, Panama’s confidence will be much higher in Panama next year in the return match.

5. Costa Rica are the favorites in the group, but Jamaica has lost to Panama already.

6. With the current Boyz, “The Office” is no longer “the Office”. It’s just the National Stadium in Kingston, a place where Jamaica has a tough time winning in recent times. There’s no guarantee they’ll win 2 in Kingston and then win 1 and draw 1 on the road, after the Haiti match.

7. It is never fun trying to hope and depend on other teams to do your dirty work for you. Take care of business, even on artificial turf in Haiti…

Haiti, a team that plays and defends very well, is also desperate after going down 0-1 to Guatemala. They also need this win so it’s going to be very difficult for the Boyz.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors, one of the 4 Caribbean teams of the 12 in group stage, won their first match vs Guatemala. For the Soca Warriors, their next match is not a must win but a win vs the United States would put them in a commanding position in a group where the USA is the favorites. In fact, T&T was the only Caribbean team to register a win in game one.

St Vincent & the Grenadines, after going down 1-6 to the United States, has an opportunity against Guatemala to step into 3rd place after tomorrow night with a win.

Let’s see how it goes.