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Crunch time for U23 Reggae Boyz

Published:Thursday | August 1, 2019 | 1:53 PMDaniel Wheeler - Gleaner Writer -

Jamaica’s Under 23 national team will need an inspired response if they are to have any chance of prolonging their stay in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The young Reggae Boyz will face the defending champions Uruguay in their second Group B game at the San Marcos Stadium today at 5:30 p.m.

Jamaica are already behind the pack after suffering a 3-1 loss to Honduras in their opening game on Monday afternoon.

Uruguay defeated Peru 2-0 later that evening, courtesy of first-half goals from Darwin Nunez and Leonardo Fernandez.

Uruguay are level with Honduras in the group with three points each, and a plus two goal differential but Honduras lead the group on virtue of having scored more goals.

They will face Peru in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.

It is imperative for Jamaica to gain at least a point in their game if they are to stand any realistic chance of advancing to the semi-finals.

Anything less would see their Pan American Games campaign on life support, and would require needing favours from the other game to stay alive.

Embattled head coach Donovan Duckie is under immense pressure following their failure in the 2020 Olympic qualifiers, and also for how his team collapsed after taking an early first-half lead.

Honduras went on a nine-minute scoring blitz netting goals in the 71st, 77th and 80th minutes to secure their come-from-behind win.

The poor results have further been compounded with Duckie unloading on the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in a now viral voicenote in which he stated that the organisation should also be held accountable for the team’s recent results.

Fans across the country have demanded Duckie’s dismissal.

The JFF is expected to meet with Duckie when the team returns.