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FOOTBALL: Reggae Boyz ready to fight for win against Costa Rica

Published:Monday | September 9, 2013 | 10:22 PM

Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer

Jamaica's men's national senior team are prepared to fight for a win against Costa Rica in their crucial CONCACAF World Cup Qualification game at the National Stadium in Kingston tomorrow, starting at 7 p.m.

New head coach of the Reggae Boyz Winfried Schaefer is fully aware that only a win can keep the fading dream of a second World Cup Finals appearance alive.

"We have another final to play that is how we are treating the game against Costa Rica.

I cannot talk about losing," Schaefer told The Gleaner following the team's final training session tonight at the National Stadium ahead of the game.

In the coach's first game in charge, Jamaica battled to a 0-0 draw, a result that didn't do much for Jamaica's hope of qualifying for the World Cup next year.

Jamaica will be without at least three starters that played last Friday in Panama City.

Captain and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts picked up a yellow card and is out due to card accumulation, tough tackling midfielder Rodolph Austin received a red card, while defender Alvas Powell is still nursing an ankle injury sustained in the game.

Schaefer refused to disclose his starting team for the do-or-die game, but indications are that Adrian Marriappa will replace Powell and Marvin Elliott could come in for Elliott in midfield.

It is still not clear as to who will replace Ricketts in goal.

Local based goalkeepers Richard McCallum of Waterhouse, Gariece McPherson of Cavalier and Montego Bay United's Jacomena Barrett are vying for the starting goalkeeper spot.

Despite the odds, Schaefer remains confident that the Reggae Boyz will be beating Costa Rica.

"We are better now than in the Panama game," he disclosed.

He is also looking for a full National Stadium in his first game in charge of the national team at home. "It is important that the Stadium is full.

We need the support of the 12th man in the stands," the German coach emphasised.

With three rounds of games remaining before the completion of the Hexagonal stage, Costa Rica leads on 14 points followed by USA (13), Honduras (10), Mexico (8), Panama (7) and Jamaica (3).

The top three teams will gain automatic berths to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil, while the fourth place finisher will play off with Oceania group winner, New Zealand for another spot.


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