Boyz take aim at breaking jinx at feared high-altitude Mexico stadium
Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson (seventh left) speaks to his players during a team huddle ahead of a training session at Montego Bay Sports Complex recently. (Photo: Paul Reid)

CATHERINE HALL, St James — Jamaica's midfielder Daniel Johnson thinks this group of Reggae Boyz players could be the one to break the jinx of never winning at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and that this milestone could be achieved on Sunday when the teams meet in the Group A of the League A semi-finals of the Concacaf Nations League.

Jamaica are in a must-win situation as Mexico lead the group by two points and need only a draw to qualify for the finals to be played in June in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the Preston North End player says it could come down to the Reggae Boyz exploiting their weaknesses.

Mexico beat Suriname on Thursday, and while it is expected they will field better players on Sunday, Johnson said there are things they saw which they hope to exploit.

"Yeah, there's a lot of good and bad things about the Mexican team that we picked up on. Obviously playing against them over the many years now, we know what we need to do [so] it's just about us going there on the day and putting on a performance and getting a win," said Johnson before Friday's final training session at the Montego Bay Sports Complex before they left for Mexico City.

Jamaica midfielder Daniel Johnson passes the ball during a recent training session at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. (Photo: Paul Reid)

Johnson, who was part of a previous group selected by Head Coach Heimer Hallgrimsson, said while he was not involved in selecting the team, there is enough talent available which can see them getting the job done.

"We know their strengths and we know their weaknesses, [and] as long as we can take away their strengths and play on their weaknesses then, you know, I'm sure we're in for a good evening."

The midfielder said it was good to be back in the team.

"It's always a pleasure to represent the country so [it] always feel good when you come back. Always," noted Johnson.

He shared with the Jamaica Observer that the five-day camp served its purpose.

"The camp was good, you know, good preparation. The coach is getting his messages across to us so, you know, it's just up to us to go and fulfil the instructions and then we'll get the win," Johnson declared.

Breaking into Patois, the player who attended prep school in Kingston said: "Wi ready; di whole a wi ready. We have to play well. As I said, the instructions and information we get from a coach are clear in terms of what he wants us to do so yeah, as long as we go out there and do what we are supposed to do, we will win," he ensed.

Paul A Reid

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