Jamaica fine tuning as Nations League approaches

KINGSTON, Jamaica – With 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying now just two weeks away, the Jamaican National Team is fine tuning things before their first encounter on September 9 versus Cayman Islands.

Last week the Reggae Boyz continued their preparation for the CNL with a pair of friendlies, defeating Grenada 5-1 in Jamaica before a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Barbados.

Down 2-0 going into the final 10 minutes, Jamaica rallied to earn the result thanks to goals from Marvin Morgan and Peter-Lee Vassell.

While it was not the performance Jamaica was looking for, team manager Roy Simpson feels like it will serve as a healthy wake-up call for the squad with CNL matches on the horizon.

“In the second half we were more purposeful, we were quicker, we were getting the second balls and we showed some amount of character in getting a draw from this game, but as Coach [Theodore] Whitmore said to the players after the game, at every game at the international level they have to come with their A game,” said Simpson.

“You can't allow teams to play and you don't play. We allowed them to dominate the first half though we got a number of chances that if we were more clinical the results would have been different,” added Simpson.

While Jamaica is set to play an international friendly on September 7 versus Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint confirms that a rotated squad will face the South Americans in light of Jamaica’s crucial CNL opener just two days later.

“It won't be a Tier 1 game against Ecuador, as we have written to FIFA. We have enough depth in the squad. Our main objective is the Nations League,” said Wint to the Jamaica Gleaner. 

“Both teams will be strong, but the coach has his tactics on who to play. We will be training in the United States, then come home for the Nations League opener against Cayman Islands on September 9 at the National Stadium. Both games are definitely on,” concluded Wint.