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Johnson & Johnson to lead Boyz attack

By Ian Burnett Sports Editor

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 | 5:48 PM    

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Mexico City, Mexico — Coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore has paired Jermaine Johnson and Ryan Johnson — no relation — to lead Jamaica’s attack when they tackle Mexico in their World Cup Final Round Qualifier at the Estadio Azteca tonight.

Game time is 8:30 pm (9:30 pm Jamaica time).

Meanwhile, a minor change has been made to the starting eleven with Jermaine Taylor, who was originally pencilled in to start as a centre back alongside Nyron Nosworthy, switched to right wing back, while Adrian Mariappa moves in the opposite direction from right wing back to centre half.

During the team's first training session at the Mexican Football Academy on Monday, Taylor and Nosworthy were paired in central defence with Demar Phillips and Mariappa on the flanks.

However, the technical staff had a change of heart, and explained that they were more comfortable with Nosworthy and Mariappa in the centre of defence. The two have partnered each for a long time at Wadford FC, before Mariappa was transferred to Reading FC in the English Premier League at the start of the new season.

It was interesting to see Taylor and Garath McCleary, another Reading FC player who is down to make his debut on the right side of midfield, engaged in chit-chat during and after play at training yesterday, in an effort to better understand each other.

A captain has not yet been named.

The starting team is Donovan Ricketts in goal, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Phillips and Taylor in defence; Marvin Elliott, Rodolph Austin, McCleary and Reading FC's skipper Jobi McAnuff in midfield, with the Johnsons in attack.       

   

The top-three from the CONCACAF hexagonal round will advance directly to the FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil next summer, while the fourth-placed finisher earns the right to a home-and-away play-off with the winner of the Oceania region for a final ticket to Brazil.

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