Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Boyz hunt last four spot at Gold Cup

Published:Thursday | July 20, 2017 | 7:00 AMNodley Wright
Jamaica's Romario Williams (22) tries to put header on goal against El Salvador during a CONCACAF Gold Cup match in San Antonio on Sunday. The game ended 1-1.

The Reggae Boyz will this evening hope to have their best performance yet at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup when they go up against Canada in the quarter-final at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Kick off time is 6:30.

Head coach Theodore Whitmore had reportedly lashed his players for their 'below par performance against El Salvador in their last group game. Then they came from a goal down to rescue a point courtesy of a Darren Mattocks penalty in the 64th minute.

With the stakes now higher it is hoped that they will show their true quality against Canada, a team they have a slight edge over in their last 10 games. In those games the Reggae Boyz have won five, drawn one and lost four. This Canada team is a different one to what we have seen in the recent past and under Ecuadorian coach Octavio Zambrano they have not lost a match since the start of the year.

 

Youth and experience

 

Zambrano has managed to combine a group of young players together with some quality veterans to play an exciting brand of attacking football. Included in the group of youngsters is 16 year-old Alphanso Davies who has so far scored three goals in the tournament. Another name which will probably jump out is that of Junior Hoilett who flirted with Jamaica a few years ago. The 27 year-old Hoilett who has played in Europe for over a decade is a skillful player.

For Jamaica, goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake has been the most impressive in the tournament and he will need to again be at his best. Good support has come from the central defensive pair of the veteran Jermaine Taylor and the emerging Damion Lowe.

Up front Darren Mattocks leads the line and the goal scoring with two goals but he along with Cory Burke and possibly Romario Williams will need a midfield to support them. That midfield will almost certainly see a change as the versatile Oniel Fisher who was substituted because of a hamstring injury in the El Salvador will possibly not be risked. That could open the door for Ewan Grandison.

Jamaica's squad : Andre Blake, Damion Hyatt. Dwayne Miller, Ladale Richie, Sergio Campbell, Damion Lowe, Kemar Lawrence, Shaun Francis, Oniel Fisher, Rosario Harriott, Jermaine Johnson, Shamar Nicholson, JeVaughn Watson, Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks, Cory Burke, Ricardo Morris, Ewan Grandison, Michael Binns, Owayne Gordon, Jermaine Taylor, Kevon Lambert and Romario Williams.