US in quarters as Panama, Cuba draw Published: Thursday | February 17, 2011
Panama's Aldair Parades (left) battles Cuba's Kianz Froese for possession during yesterday's CONCACAF Under-17 Championship football match at Jarrett Park. The game ended 0-0. - photo by Adrian Frater
Panama and Cuba yesterday left their quarter-final aspirations hanging by a thread, after they battled to a 0-0 draw in their Group B fixture at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay.
However, both teams must be cursing their luck as while Panama missed a first-half penalty through skipper Roberto Chen, the Cubans struck the crossbar through Dairon Perez in the dying moments of the game and also missed a spate of good chances.
By virtue of yesterday's result, Cuba have completed their group fixture with one point while Panama, who have an outstanding game against the United States, also have one point.
Interestingly, the result means the United States, by virtue of their 3-1 win against Cuba, have qualified for the quarter-final as they already have three points, and two teams will move forward from the group.
"I believe we blundered badly when our captain missed that penalty because that would have given us a good chance to win the game," said Panama's coach, Jorges Dely Valdez.
"Our aim now is to keep a clean sheet against the US and that should take us through."
With their fate in the hands of the Americans, Cuba's coach, Israel Blake, still thinks they have a chance of advancing.
"We just have to hope that the Americans win big against Panama and give us a chance to go through on goal difference ... we just have to be hopeful," said Blake. "We would really like to extend our stay in this competition."
Meanwhile, the heavy wear and tear on the playing surface at the new Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, has forced the organisers to switch some of the games slated for that facility to Jarrett Park.
The first four games of the championship were played at the complex.
"The workload is very heavy for a new surface so we took a decision to switch Thursday's and Friday's games to Jarrett Park to give the Catherine Hall surface a rest," said JFF vice-president, Bruce Gaynor.
"We will be going back to Catherine Hall for Saturday's double-header involving Jamaica," he added.
The Catherine Hall surface, which has a strong sand base, came in for much criticism from United States' coach Wilmer Cabrera, after his team's 3-1 win against Cuba.
Cabrera described the surface as "bumpy and dangerous" and unfit for the tournament.
"We played badly because the field was bad," said Cabrera in his post-game interview. "It is bumpy and dangerous and should not have been used to host any games."
It should be noted that Jarrett Park was initially rejected as a venue and only came back into the reckoning when the Trelawny Multi-purpose was rejected by the CONCACAF inspection team.
"Jarrett Park is the best venue in Montego Bay and it is a pity the organisers found that out late," said Adrian Grant, chairman of the Jarrett Park Management Committee. "We would have done well with some of the money that went into the preparation at Catherine Hall."
BY HOWARD WALKER Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 17, 2011
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The World Cup qualification hopes of Caribbean sides Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago hinge precariously on their games against Canada and Gautemala, respectively, at Jarrett Park today.
With the surface at the Montego Bay Sports Club crumbling after four games over a two-day period, today’s match-ups have been switched to Jarrett Park.
And no doubt Jamaica’s collective eyes will be on the Group C match-up between Trinidad and Guatemala, a game of crucial significance for the Young Reggae Boyz.
Set to kick off at 4:00 pm, T&T — who drew 2-2 with Jamaica — cannot afford to lose against Guatemala.
Both Jamaica and T&T have one point each, and as the math would suggest, if today’s game ends in a draw, the hosts would need to win against Guatemala on Saturday to be sure of advancing to the quarter-final.
With two teams progressing from the three-team group, a draw would leave T&T on two points and Guatemala and Jamaica on one each.
But a win today means a draw would be good enough for Jamaica against Guatemala to advance. The last time both teams met in 2009, Guatemala ran out easy 3-0 winners and should feel confident enough to secure another win.
But Guatemala have not been in the best of forms and only qualified for the CONCACAF Championship via the playoff route.
They defeated Panama 1-0 and lost 0-2 to Honduras in the Central American qualifiers before dispatching Nicaragua 3-0 and 1-0 over a two-way play-off series.
Today’s game between the young Soca Warriors and Guatemala could go either way in what is expected to be a close affair.
In the curtain-raiser, Barbados — who lost 1-2 to Honduras on Tuesday — must beat Canada in their final Group D encounter, starting at 12:00 pm.
Honduras lead the group with three points, ahead of Barbados and Canada who are both pointless.
However, Canada will be playing their first match today and will play Honduras on Saturday.
The Bajans are playing at the CONCACAF level for the first time and it will take a Herculean effort to dispatch Canada. However, the Kenville Laynecoached Barbados held their own against Honduras and led for most of the game before succumbing 1-2.
Once again, the lanky Zari Prescod will be their main offensive thrust and he should be ably assisted by Jabarry Chandler, Diquan Adamson, while captain Amal Mayers and Raheem Thomas should be a tower of strength at the back.
Canada, who have appeared in four previous FIFA Under-17 World Cup Finals, should start favourites.
Of note, the Sean Fleming-coached Canada have lost their last meetings against Caribbean teams in the qualifiers. In 2007 they were edged 1-2 by Trinidad and Tobago, and two years later, they crashed 1-2 to Cuba.
The likes of Jay Chapman, Keven Aleman, Marco Lepenna, Omari Morris, Seymour and Daniel Stanese should lead Canada’s hopes. Barbados did look threatening against Honduras and could spring a surprise on Canada.
The issue is the mental and phys preparation, our football IQ needs to improve.
Exhausted players always exhibit a lack of mental and physical football IQ.
Boss, this has been the pattern all through out the 6 weeks in Brazil.There were a couple of exceptions but this the present u-17 team.
I hope you are not comparing a bunch of players who went to Brazil for training sessions during the process of selecting a team to a selected team playing in a qualifying tournament.
Even if they were inherently lacking in physical & mental football IQ, a last minute exhaustive training session is not going to cure that. I will argue that it makes it worse because they wouldn't have improve much in the IQ department, and now they also have to deal with exhaustion on top of that.