KINGSTON, Sporting Alert – Jamaica will be one of the teams in action in the Third Round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying games on Friday.
The Reggae Boyz, who finished runners-up in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will play host to Nicaragua in the playoffs at the National Stadium in Kingston, at 8:00 pm local time.
Coach Winfried Schaefer’s side will head into the contest as the heavy favourites to take the advantage of playing at home, but the German reveals that his players will not be taking their opponents lightly.
Jamaica enters this stage of World Cup qualifiers on good terms, following an impressive run this summer in international tournaments.
Despite not winning or scoring a goal during the Copa America, the Reggae Boyz acquired a lot of knowledge which they took into the Gold Cup tournament afterwards.
The Caribbean powerhouses made a run all the way to the final, beating the United States in the process, but then fell 3-1 to Mexico in the title game.
“The players have good motivation, they have good spirit, everybody has more confidence than before about the tournament,” Schaefer was quoted as saying in the Jamaica Observer.
He added: “We are in a new situation now, we are favourites and the players must be prepared for that mentally.”
Schaefer acknowledged that the performances during Gold Cup were very impressive, but he is demanding more from his troops.
The German said in the Jamaica Observer: “Nobody should be satisfied from what happened at Gold Cup, saying we are a good team and we can play, no, no, we have to now work harder than in the Gold Cup, more than in the Copa (America), we have to be better than yesterday.
“I don’t want a player to give me 70 per cent against Nicaragua, we have to get 100 percent, we have to have teamwork, good spirit, go out and fight together and then we can make a good result.”
Nicaragua setup the 3rd round fixture with Jamaica after getting past Anguilla and Suriname in the first two rounds.
Also in action in the Third Round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers are Canada and Guatemala.
The Canadians will play host to Belize, while Guatemala travels to face Antigua and Barbuda.
Elsewhere, Curaçao meets El Salvador, Grenada hosts Haiti and St. Vincent and Grenadines entertains Aruba.
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
Kick-off Times In ET
Live TV Channels
3:30pm St. Vincent & Grenadines vs Aruba
4:15pm Grenada vs Haiti
7:00pm Curaçao vs El Salvador
7:37pm Canada vs Belize
8:05pm Antigua and Barbuda vs Guatemala
9:00pm Jamaica vs Nicaragua