Defend the office - McAnuff
Bad on the road, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are aiming for similar displays in their own yard as they seek to beat Costa Rica and lift their chances of advancing to the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.
The Group Two CONCACAF Fourth Round battle is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the National Stadium in Kingston, called ‘The Office’ because the Boyz couldn’t lose there during the qualification campaign on the journey to France ‘98.
Now, the Boyz and the venue are no longer impregnable, as they lost 0-2 against Panama on November 13, and 2-3 on September 4 against Nicaragua in their last outings there.
The latter was the opening match in this four-team semi-final round qualification, against Panama, with whom the Boyz are locked on three points after two matches.
Jamaica rebounded and won their second game on the road, 1-0 in Port-au-Prince, as they subjected Haiti to a second defeat.
Costa Rica, in the meantime, have garnered unblemished results with a 1-0 home win over the Haitians and a 2-1 away success at Panama City, victories that have given them group leadership with maximum six points.
“It’s gonna be vital in terms of progressing through this group,” key midfielder Jobi McAnuff said about the Boyz transforming their play on home territory. “The home games are very, very important.
“We’re still disappointed with the last two we’ve had, and we need to make sure we transfer the away performances back here at The Office and make sure we win the game.”
This is the third of six matches this round and only two will qualify to the final six, the CONCACAF Hexagonal, that ultimately decides the three or four World Cup qualifiers.
“Every game is crucial, especially when it’s in a tight little group like this,” McAnuff pointed out. “There’s only four teams and it’s important not to lose because then you lose too much ground. So if we win at home that would give us a good platform to go to the away leg and try and get another result over there.”