Do or die for Jago
The fate of Group A teams St Jago High School and Cumberland High School will be decided as the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup group phase concludes today.
Jago will travel to Spanish Town Road to face Haile Selassie High School at 1 p.m., knowing that a win and a win only will get them through to the second round. Cumberland, who completed group play with a goalless draw with Haile Selassie on Wednesday, will be rooting for the home team,as anything less than a Jago win will be enough to book their passage to the last 16.
The dynamic of the group has shifted throughout the first round, with the top spot changing hands frequently among Holy Trinity, Cumberland, and Haile Selassie. Jago are in third place with 17 points, two points behind Cumberland and Holy Trinity, who both have 19 points, but Holy Trinity lead the group with a superior +20 goal differential. No matter what the outcome today, their knockout place is assured, but Cumberland will see their qualification dreams shatter if Jago manages to secure the three points required.
Jago team manager Roy Simpson says his team has done well so far this season and hopes that they will put in the performance that will guarantee them the spot in the knockout round.
“We think that we have done well in terms of using the youngsters who have at least a minimum of two years,” he said. “They have really produced so far, and we hope that they will continue to grow, mature, and have a good season.”
“Hopefully, we can get maximum points, win the zone, and get into the second round. Once we are in the second round, anything is possible.”
The competitiveness of the group has been a highlight throughout the first round, and Simpson says that with the lack of a significant edge, it has resulted in its shape.
“What it indicates is that no team is better, or if any team is better, it’s just marginally. Even the leadership of the group tends to fluctuate. It’s an equal group. Everybody has an opportunity to go through. Two teams have 19 points, and we have 17. I think it is close, and there is not much difference among the teams.”
In the other rescheduled games, supremacy of Group E will be decided as leaders Jamaica College travel to face José Martí Technical, already leading 2-0, as the game was rescheduled because of bad weather, and Vauxhall High host Wolmers’ Boys. Vauxhall are in third place with 22 points and in a good position to be among the two best third-place teams to qualify for the knockout round. They will hope to deny the already qualified Maroons the top spot in the group.
Today’s ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup fixtures:
Haile Selassie vs St Jago
Oberlin vs Penwood
Edith Dalton vs St Mary’s College
José Martí vs JC
Vauxhall vs Wolmer’s
Greater Portmore vs Innswood