Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Boyz brace for chilly South Korea battle

Published:Tuesday | October 13, 2015 | 10:00 AM
Jamaica's leading striker, Darren Mattocks, in action against Nicaragua in their World Cup Qualifying football match at the National Stadium in Kingston last month.

SEOUL, South Korea (CMC):

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz went through the final practice session yesterday as they put the finishing touches on their preparation for their international friendly against South Korea here today.

The contest is expected to be a tough one for the Caribbean side, with South Korea ranked 53rd in the latest FIFA rankings, and Jamaica ranked four spots below.

Also, South Korea have been in imperious form in their World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) campaign and currently sit on top of the standings in the second round of the Asian zone, with four wins from as many games. They are preparing to face bottom-placed Myanmar in their next qualifier next month.

troubled start

Jamaica, meanwhile, had a troubled start to their World Cup qualifying campaign in the CONCACAF zone, going down 3-2 to Nicaragua in the first leg before scrambling a 2-0 win in the away leg in Managua, in order to reach the fourth round.

Since their arrival here last weekend, the Jamaicans have battled wintry weather in practice, and temperatures are forecast to plunge to around 158C around game time, slated for 8 p.m. (6 a.m. Jamaica time).

Jamaica have been boosted by the inclusion of strikers Giles Barnes of the Houston Dynamo and Darren Mattocks of Vancouver Whitecaps, both of whom were part of the successful squad at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

Mattocks has been in superb form, scoring in Jamaica's last four encounters - both WCQ games against Nicaragua last month, and against Mexico and the United States in the preceding CONCACAF Gold Cup final and semi-final.

The Reggae Boyz, the highest-positioned Caribbean side in the FIFA rankings, will use the South Korea game as final preparation for their campaign in the World Cup qualifying fourth round.

They have been installed in Group B alongside Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti, and begin their campaign on November 13 against Panama at home in Kingston.

JAMAICA SQUAD: Rosario Harriott, Lee Williamson, Simon Dawkins, AndrÈ Clennon, Allan Ottey, Michael Seaton, Deshorn Brown, Shaun Cummings, Jermaine Woozencroft, Ryan Thompson, Adrian Mariappa, Hughan Gray, Joel Grant, AndrÈ Blake, Lance Laing, Giles Barnes, Darren Mattocks, Upston Edwards, Errol Stevens, Ricardo Morris.