Young Girlz tackle Haiti for place in semis
JAMAICA'S Under-15 female footballers will be hunting a semi-final spot when they tackle Haiti in their quarter-final encounter at the TE McField Sports Complex today at 7:30 pm.
In the curtain-raiser, Canada play Costa Rica at 5:30 pm.
In the other quarter-finals at Truman Bodden Sports Complex, host and Group A winners Cayman Islands take on Group B runners-up Honduras at 7:30 pm. Earlier Group B winner Trinidad and Tobago play Group A second-placed team The Bahamas at 5:30 pm.
If the Young Reggae Girlz get by Haiti, then they will play either the Cayman Islands or Honduras in the semi-final, which could make the route to the final an enticing one.
But before that, they must see off the Haitians, who will not be easy pickings having gone unbeaten in their group stage. Jamaica defeated Belize and Anguilla 5-0 and 9-0, respectively, before drawing 0-0 with Costa Rica to top Group C, while Haiti stopped Cuba 3-1 and Puerto Rico 1-0 before holding Canada to a 1-1 draw.
Jamaica's head coach Xavier Gilbert admitted to not knowing much about the Haitians, but he expects a tough fight, regardless.
"The Haitians are known to be very aggressive, so we expect an aggressive game. But it's just unfortunate that we didn't get a chance to see them," he lamented.
"But such is the nature of it (tournament), so we just have to go out there and be smart at it, see what happens in the first stanza and take it from there," Gilbert added.
Jamaica, fresh from their high intensity 0-0 draw against Costa Rica on Monday, had a light workout in the pool yesterday morning.
"We had a light training session and recovery work in the pool. The girls have worked hard, especially in the last game, so they are resting now," said Gilbert after the morning workout.
"We will have a light training session later (yesterday) and practise some penalty kicks just in case the game goes into that, so we know who are the penalty kickers and the order in which they will be kicking," explained Gilbert.
"The vibes in the camp are very good and the girls are excited. They have shown some level of maturity and have stated that they want to go all the way and that's good when you hear it from youngsters," he added.
There will be no changes to the team that started against Costa Rica, as all players came out of that clash in good stead.