Jamaica break into top 50 in World Cup bid

Coach calls for home support against Aruba

File photo: Jamaica Forward Dever Orgill chases down the ball after it is tackled by Panama Midfielder Armando Cooper (Image: © Kyle Ross/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

JAMAICA, WHO climbed into the world’s top 50 this week, will be tackling Aruba twice in quick succession next month.

Jamaica host their Dutch Caribbean opponents at Kingston’s National Stadium on October 12 in a CONCACAF Nations League tie, and three days later visit Curaçao to face Aruba again.

Aruba’s multi-purpose facility has failed to meet either CONCACAF or FIFA standards to host international fixtures, so has been switched to the neighbouring island.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz visited Curaçao’s Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad last October, easily dismantling Bonaire 6-0 in the Nations League. And 6-0 was the result when the Boyz last played Aruba a dozen years ago. 

The Boyz top Group B in the Nations League with Aruba bottom of the table, having narrowly lost to Guyana and Antigua & Barbuda in this campaign. 
Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore has seen his Boyz crack the FIFA world’s top 50, climbing five places to lie fourth in the CONCACAF region behind Mexico (world no.12), the USA (21) and Costa Rica (43).

Hot on Jamaica’s heels are Honduras (67), El Salvador (72) and Canada (75) as the race heats up for six CONCACAF sides to claim a FIFA World Cup qualifier berth.

CONCACAF’s leading six sides, as ranked by FIFA next June, will be battling it out for three places in the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Whitmore, whose ultimate goal is to guide the Boyz to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998, said about the latest ranking: “This is positive for the team and the country, in keeping with the objectives set at the beginning of the Nations League group phase.

“Our wish is for it to continue to get better. I will be lobbying with the Jamaica Football Federation to ensure that what is necessary to make this happen is put in place because we do not want to get complacent.

“I appeal to the fans to show their recognition of this positive direction by turning out for our next game against Aruba, because the players need to know that they have the country’s support.”

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