Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Do or die for Boyz – Blake

Published:Sunday | October 10, 2021 | 12:08 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Still hunting their first win and sitting in the cellar position in the final round FIFA World Cup Concacaf qualifiers, goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake has described today’s home game against Canada as a do-or-die for the Reggae Boyz.

Today’s game, which will be played at the National Stadium, is scheduled to kick off at 5:00 p.m.

Jamaica sit at the bottom of the eight-team group with one point from four matches. The USA lead the standings with eight points, same as second-place Mexico. They are followed by Canada on six, Panama and El Salvador on five, with Costa Rica and Honduras on three apiece.

The Reggae Boyz, who have not won a match in their last six games, were beaten 2-0 by the United States in their last assignment in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, and Blake knows that anything but a win in today’s encounter will be another shovel plunge in a deepening hole for the Reggae Boyz.

“It is a very tough task, but it is what it is and I will never stop believing,” said Blake. “It is not over until it is over and if you look at the table, it is still pretty close and we are playing the harder part of the schedule right now, away to Costa Rica, away to Mexico and away to the US.”

“I think this is going to be our toughest game yet, but we are up for the challenge because we are playing at home and we need to show that we are playing at home and go out there and tell ourselves that it is a final and we have to find a way to get all three points because we must win this game,” Blake added.


Blake, 30, who represents the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States, underlined that like most Jamaicans, the players themselves are very disappointed with the results so far in the qualifiers. He is, however, confident that the group can turn things around and get the team’s Qatar 2022 campaign on track.

“There are still some positives in it and we are just going to continue to work and hopefully sooner than later, we will start taking more points,” said Blake.

“They (the fans) have a right to be upset and we are upset too, because every time we go out there, we want to win, so whenever we don’t win, then we have every right to be upset,” he added.

“But I still believe in the group and I am not going to stop believing in the group, we just have a few things that we have to get right,” Blake said. “The quality is here and there is no doubt about that and we just have to stick together and keep fighting.”

The Canadians, who are coming off a 1-1 draw away to Mexico in their last game and like the USA and Mexico, have not lost a match so far in this round.