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Jamaica let home field advantage slip

Jamaica Reggae Boyz have only themselves to blame for having to sit in the basement of the Hexagonal standings. The Boyz did not capitalize on home field advantage after letting Panama off the hook in Kingston.  Jamaica had Panama on the ropes in the first half of their second match before a sold out crowd at the National Stadium but could not increase the 1-0 lead on Marvin Elliott's header in the 23rd minute from a Demar Phillips left side corner.

With the score within reach Panama found their rhythm in the second half and ILuis Henriquez scored in the 66th minute to create a momentum shift which presented Jamaica fans with some anxious moments in the later stages of the match.

The Boyz traveled to Costa Rica for the next match and with a chance to take the early lead ans quiet the home crowd forward Garath McCleary shot straight to Costa Rica goalkeeper Luis Mejia.  Luton Shelton had a g;orious opportunity to score the equalizer for Jamaica in the first half but after dribbling two defenders his inside of the foot placement shot blocked by a defender after he made one move to often after having the goalkeeper at his mercy.

The Costa Rica loss is a bit disheartening for Reggae Boyz supporters, but the race is still relatively close.  Jamaica is within striking distance of first place Panama which has only three more points than Jamaica. However, the upcoming games against Mexico and USA at the Office in Kingston will determine how much Jamaica team has jelled since team chemistry is lacking to gain positive result from consistent performances.

Jamaica open Hex with historic draw       Jamaica opened its CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifier in the Hexagonal (Hex) round with a scoreless draw against Mexico. It is an impressive result since the match was played at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City where the Reggae Boyz usually comes up empty. Mexico for the most part has been invincible at home, not only against CONCACAF opponents but against the best football nations in the world.

It is ironic that Mexico and USA are favored to advance out of the three automatic CONCACAF spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while Jamaica and Costa Rica were suppose to be the odd teams out. But after the first round of matches Jamaica and Costa Rica had impressive performances with both teams playing on the road. It has set up what will be a very interesting and unpredictable Hexagonal race from start to finish.

After game one, Mexico has one point and USA zero with both teams at the bottom of the group standings. Honduras jumped into first place after beating USA 2-1 at Olympic Stadium in San Pedro while Costa Rica sits in second place ahead of Panama after erasing a two goal deficit in Panama City for a 2-2 result.

Jamaica is in the best position in fourth place after leaving Mexico with one point. Mexico will have to turn things around which should make Jamaica feat in Mexico almost impossible for any other team in the Hexagonal round  to accomplish for the rest of the schedule.

Jamaica host Panama at the Office in Kingston for its next match on March 22nd. 

 

Jamaica WCQ Hex “A sense of Urgency”

Kick off to the CONCACAF Hexagonal (Hex) round is only weeks away and although Mexico and USA are favored to advance out of the three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Jamaica Reggae Boyz is very much in the mix as the last Caribbean Hope.

Jamaica opens the Hex round against Mexico in Mexico City on February 6th, and I consider it to be a game that will bring out the best in the Reggae Boyz since motivation is a factor. Players usually relish playing against the best and Mexico is undoubtedly the best team in the region at present.

Taking everything in context I feel like Jamaica has nothing to lose and all to gain in Mexico. The most important thing in that game is for the Reggae Boyz to give a good performance and keep the score close.

While all games are important, Jamaica (next) game against Panama is huge in terms of importance.

Jamaica not only has to get positive results at the Office against Panama on March 22nd but the Boyz has to show up for their point in Costa Rica four days later (March 26th).  

The Hex is very competitive and there is not much difference in the teams. According to the Hex trend any of the six participating teams can lose away from home and style of play may only determine which team had the advantage in the run of play, but at times not on the scoreboard.

Player’s availability is the key since injury and suspensions can be hindrances. Mental and physical readiness has to be expected when technical and tactical maneuvers will create individual brilliance at opportune times for teams to score and win games. 

Mexico USA, Panama and Honduras were picked by the pundits as the four teams to advance, but the last time I I looked at the matchups, Jamaica and Costa Rica chances seemed just as good as any of the other teams.

With only three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the fourth spot is another way of getting to Brazil. It is what I call the scenic route, via a playoff series against the winner of the Oceania region.  

The most successful trend has been to take care of home field advantage. It does not always hold true when the race tightens in the second half of the schedule but at the last (2010) Hexagonal round there were no undefeated teams at the end of the first half of the schedule based on the home field trend. 

Trinidad and Tobago was the only team which had lost at home (Tobago) to Costa Rica in the first half of the 2010 schedule while home field was instrumental in El Salvador upsetting Mexico and Costa Rica defeating both USA and Honduras. 

Hence, it is important for Jamaica fans to turn out in their large numbers to support the Reggae Boyz who has had an undefeated streak at the Office in Kingston in the semi-final round of the 2010 WCQ that included Mexico, Honduras and Canada and seems more capable this time around.

So let’s go Jamaica!!!!

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ Hexagonal Projection

By Aldwyn McGill
Soccer Analyst & Producer                                                                                       Stars Soccer Review Magazine

Mexico …..Will advance but it will not be as easy as the previous semi-final round when they clinched with two games in hand There are 10 games to play in the Hex and Mexico may find out that the last two might be their most important while their undefeated WCQ run could also be a thing of the past.

USA ....Is no a sure bet to qualify for an automatic spot in the first three with the way Panama and Honduras have played. USA performance in the last round was not that impressive but their soccer/football program is the best in the region. Since they literally play some of their home games without the 12th man advantage the United States will prove once again that preparation and tactical readiness are key factors in winning close games.

Panama... Was the best performing (besides Mexico) and most consistent team in the semis but nothing is a given in the Hexagonal round. With their explosive style of play Panama will also have to concentrate on keeping their emotions in check. At the least, Panama should be in the first four finishers, but a means to their end will be in their early results at home. Panama plays 3 of their 4 first matches at home and failure to take advantage will put them a great disadvantage.

Honduras ...Made a late surge in the semi-final round to win its Group C. But the jury is out on how good the team really is. In a must win situation they defeated Canada 8-1 to advance, but Los Catrachos also lost at home against Panama to open the round. With none of the teams losing at home in the 2010 Hex' and Honduras opening their 2014 Hex' schedule at home against USA and Mexico respectively, it will set the stage for where their campaign is heading.

Costa Rica.... Advanced after playing one decisive game against El Salvador where they won 1-0. However, just like they did against El Salvador, El Ticos has the players and the style of play to get positive results against their Central American neighbours. Their schedule is a bit different to the other in that they play their first two games on the road against Panama and USA. So expect to make a late surge with a realistic chance to be the team to change the complexion of the CONCACAF final four race.

Jamaica ... Did what it had to do to advance to the Hex, but was the only team which needed help. The Reggae Boyz did not help the JFF cause to harness support for home field advantage. The Boyz failed to advance to the final four at the Caribbean Championships. Home field is what usually separates teams in the Hex and without it the Reggae Boyz will find the mission to 2014 Brazil near impossible. With home field advantage and a revamped offense the sky is the limit to what Jamaica can achieve..... Stay Tuned!!

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ Final (Hexagonal) Round 

Final Round  Group & Standings

 

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts

Honduras

1

1

0

0

2

1

3

Costa Rica

1

0

1

0

2

2

1

Panama

1

0

1

0

2

2

1

Jamaica

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Mexico  

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

USA

1

0

0

1

1

2

0

The schedule of play for the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is as follows (home team is listed first):http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/nccamerica/teams/team=43910/index.html

Date

Venue

 

Home

Away

 

06/02/13

TBA

 

Mexico

0:0

Jamaica

06/02/13

TBA

 

Panama

2:2 (2:1)

Costa Rica

06/02/13

TBA

 

Honduras

2:1 (1:1)

USA

22/03/13

TBA

 

Honduras

-

Mexico

22/03/13

TBA

 

Jamaica

-

Panama

22/03/13

TBA

 

USA

-

Costa Rica

26/03/13

TBA

 

Costa Rica

-

Jamaica

26/03/13

TBA

 

Mexico

-

USA

26/03/13

TBA

 

Panama

-

Honduras

04/06/13

TBA

 

Jamaica

-

Mexico

07/06/13

TBA

 

Panama

-

Mexico

07/06/13

TBA

 

Jamaica

-

USA

07/06/13

TBA

 

Costa Rica

-

Honduras

11/06/13

TBA

 

Mexico

-

Costa Rica

11/06/13

TBA

 

USA

-

Panama

06/09/13

TBA

 

Mexico

-

Honduras

06/09/13

TBA

 

Panama

-

Jamaica

06/09/13

TBA

 

Costa Rica

-

USA

10/09/13

TBA

 

Jamaica

-

Costa Rica

10/09/13

TBA

 

USA

-

Mexico

10/09/13

TBA

 

Honduras

-

Panama

11/10/13

TBA

 

Honduras

 -00000-

   Costa Rica

 

11/10/13

TBA

 

USA

-

   Jamaica

 

11/10/13

TBA

 

Mexico

-

   Panama

 

15/10/13

TBA

 

Jamaica

-

   Honduras

 

15/10/13

TBA

 

Panama

-

   USA

 

15/10/13

TBA

 

Costa Rica

-

   Mexico

 

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ semi final Projection

By Aldwyn McGill
Soccer Analyst

Producer- Stars Soccer Review Magazine
The big news in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers thus far is Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda advancement into the third round after defeating Caribbean Powerhouses Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti respectively. The tremor occurred on Friday November 11 when Guyana defeated the Soca Warriors 2-1 at Georgetown’s Providence Stadium to win Group B. Ricky Shakes scored Guyana’s first goal in the 10th minute and Leon Cort provided the insurance goal in the 81st minute. Kenwyne Jones scored T&T consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time.

The topic of contentions in Trinidad was on fellow Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz who lead Guyana Golden Jaguars to their historic win against Trinidad and Tobago as the coach. It was the first time that Guyana had beaten T&T and its first advancement into the third round of a World Cup qualifier..

Antigua and Barbuda created shockwaves at Warner Park Stadium in Antigua with a 1-0 win over Haiti. Kerry Skepple scored the lone goal in the 82nd minute to clinch the Group F title. Antigua will face the United States, Jamaica, and Guatemala, in the next (third) round. The other teams which advanced out of the second round were: Canada, (clinched a spot from a scoreless draw in an away game with St Kitts and Nevis to win Group D), El Salvador (won Group A after beating Suriname 3-1), and Guatemala, and Panama which had little resistance in winning their E and C Group respectively.

In anticipation of which of the six teams will advance from the highly competitive third round, it is important to look at the legitimacy of the top six seed which received byes into the third round.

Mexico still has to play but they are almost a shoe in to advance to the final (six) ‘hexagonal’ stage

USA's main competition will be Jamaica and since to this point Jamaica has never beaten USA it is safe to pick USA to advance.

Jamaica has the talent and with the experience they should advance in spite of Guatemala’s improve play. Jamaica only real challenge is to beat USA at the Office in Kingston to gain momentum for the rest of the qualifiers.

Costa Rica and El Salvador have to fight for one spot in Group B because of Mexico’s dominance. However, El Salvador defeated Mexico in the 2010 WCQ and can split games with Costa Rica. The second spot should go to the team which can gain a point against Mexico and Costa Rica has the advantage in that regard.

Honduras is in the group (C) of death with Canada, Panama and Cuba. This group will be a reflection of the final round of six, where the top teams have to win at home, beat the weakest team in the group twice, and gain points on the road. Honduras has the edge to advance based on its international fan base advantage.

Cuba gained a bye into the third round but it is the weakest team in Group C. Canada is in a good position to advance out of this group, but the team has to hit the ground running and take the early points, by gaining 7 of its first available 9 points. Canada has two of its first three games at home and its opening game against Cuba in Cuba,

Panama is the most dangerous team in the 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and can create the biggest story of the CONCACAF WCQ out of Group C (the Group of Death). But, discipline must be maintaine

CONCACAF WCQ Final (Hex) Round 2010 South Africa

                         Games, Scores, & Standings

Final Round  Group & Standings

 

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts

USA *

10

6

2

2

19

13

20

Mexico *

10

6

1

3

18

12

19

Honduras *

10

5

1

4

17

11

16

Costa Rica **

10

5

1

4

15

15

16

El Salvador

10

2

2

6

9

15

8

Trinidad and Tobago

10

1

3

6

10

22

6

 
CONCACAF 2010 South Africa: Costa Rica was eliminated in Playoff series by Uruguay

Costa Rica 0 vs  Uruguay 1  Nov-14 Costa Rica 1 vs  Uruguay 1 Nov-18-2009

USA, Mexico, & Honduras clinch while Costa Rica lost in Playoffs

After the results of the final CONCACAF qualifying matches last Wednesday, USA leads the CONCACAF Final round qualifiers with 20 points while Mexico and Honduras finished second and third respectively to secure the three automatic spots to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

Mexico did what was necessary against Trinidad and Tobago, in what turned out to be a dull affair with almost the same amount of Mexican supporters in attendance as Soca Warriors supporters. The game ended 2-2 and it and it seemed like every time T&T scored, Mexico responded accordingly.

Mexico second equalizer in the 65th minute to make it a 2-2 ball game. It was a neat placement by Carlos Salcido to set up a somewhat exciting finish to the dull game. Both teams missed late chances by hitting the crossbar as the game finished in a deserving 2-2 draw.

With the tie Mexico finished in second place with 19 points, one point behind USA. Trinidad and Tobago finished their 2010 campaign in last place with 6 points in the Hexagonal round. Honduras finished in third place with 16 points after defeating El Salvador 1-0, while Costa Rica finished in fourth place on goal difference after allowing USA to come back from a two goal half time deficit to tie 2-2 in the 4th minute of injury time.

Honduras defeat El Salvador 1-0 to clinch the third and final spot after Costa Rica tie with USA. Costa Rica now has to play Uruguay, the fifth place South American team in a home and away playoff series to get to the 2010 World Cup.

Update:  Costa Rica was eliminated from 1-0 loss to Uruguay in its first game at home after drawing the second game 1-1 on November 18 in Uruguay to lose on aggregate.

CONCACAF 2010 South Africa scores

Tenth game            

Oct-14-09

USA

USA   2

  (0:2)

Costa Rica 2

Oct-14-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago  2

  (1:0)

Mexico2

Oct-14-09

San Salvador

El Salvador 0 

 (0:0)

Honduras  1

Sep-09-09

Tuxtla Gutierrez

Mexico 1

   (0:0)

Honduras 0

             

First Leg    

First game            

Feb-11-09

San Jose 

 Costa Rica 2

  (0:0)

Honduras 0   

Feb-11-09

Havana

El Salvador 2:

  (0:2)

Trinidad and Tobago2

Feb-11-09

Columbus

USA  2

 (1:0)

Mexico 0

             

Second game

           

Mar-28-09

Mexico City  

Mexico 2 

 (1:0)

Costa Rica  0  

Mar-28-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago  1:

(0:0)

Honduras  1

Mar-28-09

Tuxtla Gutierrez

El Salvador 2:

 (1:0)

USA  2

             
Third game            
Apr-01-09 San Jose  Costa Rica 1 (0:0) El Salvador: 0

Apr-01-09 Nashville, USA USA  3  (1:0) Trinidad and Tobago 0

Apr-01-09 San Pedro Sula   Honduras 3:  (2:0) Mexico 1

             
Fourth game            

Jun-03-09

San Jose 

Costa Rica 3

(2:0)

USA 1

Jun-06-09

San Salvador

El Salvador 2

  (1:0)

Mexico 1

Jun-06-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago  2

(1:1)

Costa Rica 3

             
             
Fifth game            

Jun-06-09

USA

USA  2

 (1:1)

Honduras 1

Fifth game

           

Jun-10-09

TBA

Mexico  2

  (1:1)

Trinidad and Tobago1 

Jun-10-09

Honduras

Honduras 1

  (1:0)

El Salvador  0

             
Second Leg            
Sixth game            

Aug-12-09

San Pedro Sula

Honduras 4

 (1:0)

Costa Rica 0

Aug-12-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago  1

 (1:0)

El Salvador   0

Aug-12-09

Tuxtla Gutierrez

Mexico 2

  (1:1)

USA 1

 

           
Seventh game            

Sep-05-09

San Jose 

Costa Rica 0

  (0:1)

Mexico 3

Sep-05-09

San Pedro Sula

Honduras 4

  (2:0)

Trinidad and Tobago 1

Sep-05-09

USA 

USA  2

   (2:1)

El Salvador  1

             
Eight game            

Sep-09-09

San Salvador

El Salvador 1

  (0:0)

Costa Rica 0

Sep-09-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago 0

  (0:0)

USA 1

Sep-09-09

Tuxtla Gutierrez

Mexico 1

  (0:0)

Honduras 0

 

           
Nineth game            

Oct-10-09

San Jose 

Costa Rica4

   (1:0)

Trinidad and Tobago 0

Oct-10-09

Tuxtla Gutierrez

Mexico 4

 (1:0) 

El Salvador   1

Oct-10-09

San Pedro Sula 

Honduras  2

  (0:0)

USA  3

             
Tenth game            

Oct-14-09

USA

USA   2

  (0:2)

Costa Rica 2

Oct-14-09

Port of Spain

Trinidad & Tobago  2

  (1:0)

Mexico2

Oct-14-09

San Salvador

El Salvador 0 

 (0:0)

Honduras  1

 

 

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