Tuesday, November 17, 2015
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- When the chips are down, imagination, guile and sheer heart and determination could combine for a winning outcome.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will need all of the above and even more if they hope to put their Russia 2018 World Cup train back on track.
The Jamaicans -- rocked by an unscripted 0-2 defeat to Panama in their opening fourth round CONCACAF Group B match at Kingston's National Stadium on Friday night -- will take on hosts Haiti in a battle of desperate teams at the Stade Sylvio Cator in capital Port-au-Prince today.
Game time is 7:00 pm, the same as Jamaica.
Haiti had lost their opening match 1-0 to Costa Rica away on Friday.
On the eve of today's kick-off, the 61st-ranked Boyz have been faced with a crisis of sorts as a number of the team's more seasoned and influential players have become unavailable for one reason or another, giving Head Coach Winfried Schaefer a bit of an itch in his silky white hair.
Firstly, the artificial turf at the match venue is not conducive for skipper Rodolph Austin and Giles Barnes, who both have a history of sustaining serious injuries on the rigid surfaces.
|Kevaughn Frater (right) protects the ball ahead |
of Wes Morgan
during a training session on Sunday.
And out of the blue, there came news that Alvas Powell (knee) and Garath McCleary (muscular tear) are nursing injuries that have ruled them out of today's game, at least.
And yesterday, it emerged that Nicaragua goal-scoring hero Simon Dawkins had returned home to England "for personal reasons", but the Jamaica Observer under-stands that the player opted out because he was peeved not to have played in the home match against Panama on Friday.
But without that bunch, the show must go on, thus forcing Schaefer and his technical team to be creative. more