Depleted Reggae Boyz arrive in Honduras for World Cup qualifierTuesday, October 12, 2021
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Jamaica's Reggae Boyz squad was further ravaged by the withdrawal of two players as they arrived in San Pedro Sula yesterday afternoon, ahead of tomorrow's World Cup qualifying engagement with the hosts.
Philadelphia Union wingback Alvas Powell, who started Sunday's game at central defence, was diagnosed with a grade one tear of his left hamstring and was thus ruled out, while AFC Bournemouth forward Jamal Lowe returned home as per the agreement for him to be available for just two games with Jamaica.
These latest absences have further reduced the squad to 19 players, as Damion Lowe returns following his one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
Without seeking to offer any excuses, Head Coach Theodore Whitmore admits that this is not an ideal situation to be in ahead of another crucial game against a team just one point above Jamaica in the points standings, but he and his technical staff will have to find a way to strategically employ the players at his disposal at the minute.
“From morning we (technical staff) have been trying to wrap our heads around how we are going to plan tomorrow's training session with only 19 players,” he said, considering the tactical set-up and team shape on both sides of the ball.
Tomorrow's game, the sixth of 14 in the Final Round of qualification, is set to kick off at 7:00 pm.
Jamaica remain bottom of the eight-team points standings with two points. Mexico lead with 11, followed by US and Panama with eight, Canada and Costa Rica on six, El Salvador on five and Honduras on three.
The top three teams at the end of the series advance directly to the Fifa World Cup Finals in Qatar next year, with the fourth-place team earning the right for another chance in an Inter-Continental play-off.
The Jamaican delegation into San Pedro Sula yesterday on a charter from Kingston, and was scheduled to undergo PCR tests later last night. They are slated to practice at the game venue today.
Squad – Andre Blake, Dillon Barnes, Jeadine White, Anthony Grant, Oniel Fisher, Bobby Reid, Shamar Nicholson, Junior Flemmings, Je-Vaughn Watson, Adrian Mariappa, Kemar Lawrence, Kemar Roofe, Jamoi Topey, Javain Brown, Javon East, Andre Gray, Tyreek Magee, Damion Lowe, Devon Williams.
— Ian Burnett