Crucial clash for Boyz
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will go into their penultimate Group B CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match away to Panama tonight at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, knowing that nothing but a win will be enough to keep their 2018 Russian dreams alive, and coach Winfried Schaefer says his team will 'fight' with all they have for the desired result. Kick off time is 8:30.
"I want to tell our supporters in Jamaica to keep their fingers crossed," he told The Gleaner from the Boyz camp in Panama.
"We will fight to win the match for the people of Jamaica.
"Every player, overseas and local, are Jamaicans. Those from London, Kingston, America - they are all Jamaicans and they want to fight and win for Jamaica," he said.
The Reggae Boyz sit third in the four-team group with just four points from four matches. They are three behind second-place Panama and six adrift of group leaders and final-round qualifiers Costa Rica. Haiti are at the bottom of the group on a point. Only two teams will advance from the group.
The Boyz lost the first meeting between the teams in Kingston but Schaefer is confident they can turn the table and get the three points.
"The players know what they have to do. They have to be disciplined and they have to believe in our tactics and we have to control the match. today's (Thursday) training we want to work on what to do when we don't have the ball, what we do when we have the ball, we want to work on corners, freekicks," he noted.
The German is still undecided as to who he will start upfront, while he will wait to see what the hosts have to offer before making his adjustment tactically. But whoever he chooses as starting forwards or whatever tactics he decides to employ, he only expects one result, a win.
" I don't know yet who will start as forward. I will look at training later as there are two positions that I want to look at. But I am sure we will play a strong match, we have confidence and the players are in good spirits.
"We have to control the match. If the situation is good for pressing, we will press, but when we lose the ball, we have to fight for it again. The situation is not always the same, so sometimes you have to press and sometimes you sit, but we have to play calm and we will play to win," he insisted.
Squad: Andre Blake, Ryan Thompson, Jacomeno Barrett, Wes Morgan, Michael Hector, Adrian Mariappa, Lee Williamson, Clayton Donaldson, Garath McCleary, Rodolph Austin, Dever Orgill, Joel McAnuff, Jermaine Taylor, Alvas Powell, Je-Vaughn Watson, Giles Barnes, Simon Dawkins, Shaun Francis, Cory Burke, Kemar Lawrence, Michael Binns, Omar Holness and Rosario Harriott.