Sports

Jamaica, St Kitts to decide Group A winners in Caribbean Olympic qualifier

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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The result against Dominica in their opening Caribbean Under-23 Olympic qualifier was not the statement many hoped for from a “talented” Jamaican team.

But having had three days to reflect on their performance in that 1-1 stalemate, Head coach Donovan Duckie and his charges will be hoping to come out with a strong response in the Group A decider against St Kitts and Nevis today.

The must-win contest for Jamaica is scheduled for 6:30 pm at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens.

It is no secret that Jamaica's team possesses a lot of young talent, but complacency and overconfidence could easily spell trouble against a rapidly improving St Kitts and Nevis team that paraded good cohesion and technical ability on Friday.

St Kitts and Nevis's 4-0 beating of Dominica placed them in pole position to secure the lone qualifying spot from the three-team group.

With three points already to their credit, the dual-island nation will be aware that they only require a draw against the Jamaicans, who are second on a point, to make safe their path to the next round.

On the other end, Duckie is cognisant that there is no room for error and as such, is hoping to keep his charges, who were also on hand to take note when St Kitts and Nevis made light work of Dominica, grounded.

“That is the challenge — to keep them grounded and exhibit the right focus, but in terms of motivating them, they would already have that and a lot of credit must be given to [Theodore] “Tappa” Whitmore for his vision with some of these players.

“But we only have one job to do and that is to win the game; and these guys are professional players so I am very confident that we will pull through. Our guys are here and they saw the game, so they would understand the functionality of their (St Kitts and Nevis) team and the characteristics of their players in respect of the zones that they are playing,” Duckie told journalists.

Meanwhile, captain Alex Marshall has also reminded his peers of the task at hand.

“We know it's a must-win game, so we just have to go out there and work on what we didn't do in our last game... score our chances and play as a team,” he reasoned.

St Kitts and Nevis's tactician Earl Jones pointed out that his team will also be going all out for glory.

“Over the years Jamaica has been stopping us in various age groups. we are small but we tallawah and this is the group decider so we are not turning back,” he noted.


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