THERE is still hope within the Reggae Boyz camp that the team can qualify for Jamaica's second senior World Cup Finals when they host Antigua and Barbuda at the National Stadium this evening.
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, has expressed confidence that team will deliver for Jamaica. Burrell, in commenting on where the country stands in the qualification bid, stated: "I have seen the commitment of the players and the staff and I know that they will do what they have to do to take us to the next round. I therefore call on Jamaicans to give them all the support by attending the match on Tuesday."
"We are still very much in the race," a defiant head coach Theodore Whitmore said of the Reggae Boyz's current position.
"The beauty of this situation is that even though we do not fully have things in our hands, we have our final game at home.
"It is now for us to go out there and do what we have to do and to do that we need the support of our Jamaican people — the same people who came out when we created history by defeating the US for the first time at the senior level.
"These same people were with us when we qualified for the World Cup in 1998 and I know with them we will be fine," Whitmore added.
Even with last Friday's defeat, Whitmore is seeing positives.
"Friday's game was the best performance in the campaign to date. Yes, we lost the game, but we also take a lot of positives from it into our next game. We intend to build on the things we did well and improve in the areas critical for Tuesday's (today's) game," Whitmore said.
With seven points already in the bag from five games and a goal difference of zero, the Reggae Boyz need to defeat Antigua and Barbuda today in their final group game and hope the United States register a victory over Guatemala.
Currently, both the United States and Guatemala are in a superior position as both are on 10 points, with a goal difference of three.
That situation can be considered favourable for Jamaica as a defeat for either team and a win by at least three clear goals for the Reggae Boyz would see them advancing as the second-placed team in the group.
If at the end of Tuesday's games two teams are locked on 10 points, the first method of separation will be "goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned".
Should there still be a doubt then the "greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned" would be considered. If they are still locked then "the goals scored away from home count double between the teams concerned (if the tie is only between two teams)".
The final method of differentiation will be a play-off should the teams still be tied up. "With the approval of the FIFA Organising Committee, play-off matches shall be played on neutral ground to resolve equal rankings that remain within groups after all other ranking criteria have been applied (cf. art. 18, par. 6d to 6g). If any such play-off ends in a tie, extra time of two periods of 15 minutes each shall be played. If the score is level after extra time, penalty kicks shall be taken to determine the winner in accordance with the procedure described in the Laws of the Game".