Girlz face hosts for place in CFU Cup Finals
SANJAY MYERS with the Reggae Girlz @ THE CFU WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS in the Dominican Republic
BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic — The Jamaica women's team need only a point against hosts Dominican Republic today to top Group Five of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers, but head coach Merron Gordon is promising a positive approach.
Kick-off is set for 4:00 pm (3:00 pm Jamaica time) at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.
Both teams are on three points after recording respective lop-sided wins over hapless St Lucia.
The hosts defeated the St Lucians 7-0 on Wednesday, before the Jamaicans eliminated the eastern Caribbean team in a 14-0 walloping.
With the advantage in goal-difference the Jamaicans need only to avoid a loss to advance to the CFU Cup Finals in Trinidad & Tobago two months from now.
"The trickiest result for a coach is a draw, so we are going to approach the game like we need a win," he told reporters after a light session yesterday.
"We are not going to go all out and leave our backs open, but at the same time we are going to play our attractive football."
The Jamaicans, like they did on Thursday ahead of the St Lucia encounter, opted not to practise at the Panamericano venue due to the hour-long travel between that field and the team hotel.
Instead they walked less than five minutes to a nearby baseball field to conduct stretching exercises.
The Girlz are expected to make two changes to the starting 11 from the opening game.
Khedine Salmon should come in as part of a front trio, including Sashana Campbell and the menacing Shakira Duncan, who hit four past St Lucia.
Mitsy Facey, the other new face, is set to start at right back in a back four consisting of central defenders Sherona Forrester and captain Alicia Wilson, as well as left-back Monique Pryce.
The three in midfield are Donna-Kay Henry, Omolyn Davis and Nicole Campbell.
Nicole McLure is expected to begin in goal.
The wide player Yolanda Hamilton and midfielder Jodi-Ann McGregor are the two withdrawn.
The Jamaicans possess considerable depth with Alexa Allen -- a three goal heroine against St Lucia -- not making the starting team.
Meanwhile, Gordon said the changes were for tactical reasons.
"We made some tactical changes because we knew the Dominican Republic was going to watch our game against St Lucia," he explained.
Anguilla, originally the fourth team in the Group 5, pulled out ahead of the tournament's start.