Jamaica Reggae Boyz to kick off World Cup qualifiers against Mexico in empty Azteca stadium

By Sports Desk June 18, 2021

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will begin the Hexagonal final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers away to Mexico City at the famous Azteca Stadium.

Four days later they will host Panama at Kingston’s National Stadium, before travelling to Costa Rica two days later to close out the first round of games.

The opening round of games will take place between September 2-8.  The Jamaicans will be the only Caribbean team in the final round of the qualifiers.  The Reggae Boyz, along with Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, and Honduras automatically advanced to the final round based on their FIFA rankings.  Panama, Canada, and El Salvador took part in an additional round to reach the final stage.

A face-off against CONCACAF’s top-ranked team will be a tough start for the Jamaicans who will be looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.  The Jamaicans have never won a match at the venue but came away with a point from a 0-0 draw the last time the teams met there, in the qualifiers, in 2013. 

The game will, however, be hosted with no fans, after the team was ordered to play their next two official home games behind closed doors, as a consequence of anti-gay chants heard during matches against the Dominican Republic and the United States, played in Guadalajara on March 18 and 24.

The team was also fined $65,000 and further sanctions were threatened, including a possible points reduction.

 

 

CONCACAF Hexagonal Round fixtures

 Matchday 1 - Thursday, September 2

  • Canada vs. Honduras
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. Costa Rica
  • Mexico vs. Jamaica

Matchday 2 - Sunday, September 6

  • United States vs. Canada
  • El Salvador vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. Mexico
  • Jamaica vs. Panama

Matchday 3 - Wednesday, September 8

  • Canada vs. El Salvador
  • Honduras vs. United States
  • Panama vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Jamaica

Matchday 4 - Thursday, October 7

  • Mexico vs. Canada
  • Honduras vs. Costa Rica
  • El Salvador vs. Panama
  • United States vs. Jamaica

Matchday 5 - Sunday, October 10

  • Jamaica vs. Canada
  • Mexico vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. United States

Matchday 6 - Wednesday, October 13

  • Canada vs. Panama
  • Honduras vs. Jamaica
  • El Salvador vs. Mexico
  • United States vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 7 - Friday, November 12

  • Canada vs. Costa Rica
  • Honduras vs. Panama
  • El Salvador vs. Jamaica
  • United States vs. Mexico

Matchday 8 - Tuesday, November 16

  • Canada vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Honduras
  • Panama vs. El Salvador
  • Jamaica vs. United States

Matchday 9 - Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Honduras vs. Canada
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Mexico

Matchday 10 - Sunday, January 30, 2022

  • Canada vs. United States
  • Honduras vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. Costa Rica
  • Panama vs. Jamaica

Matchday 11 - Wednesday, February 2, 2022

  • El Salvador vs. Canada
  • United States vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 12 - Thursday, March 24, 2022

  • Costa Rica vs. Canada
  • Panama vs. Honduras
  • Jamaica vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. United States

Matchday 13 - Sunday, March 27, 2022

  • Canada vs. Jamaica
  • Honduras vs. Mexico
  • El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
  • United States vs. Panama

Matchday 14 - Wednesday, March 30, 2022

  • Panama vs. Canada
  • Jamaica vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. United States

Related items

  • 'Why  label our players?' - former Reggae Boyz keeper insists there should be no difference between local, foreign-born players 'Why label our players?' - former Reggae Boyz keeper insists there should be no difference between local, foreign-born players

    Former Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Ryan Thompson has questioned the practice of labelling the country’s national representatives as foreign-based or English-based in light of questions regarding the team’s unity.

    In recent months, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has looked to bolster the experience and quality in the team’s ranks by extending an invitation to players who qualify to represent the country by virtue of having Jamaican heritage.  Several players have accepted the offer but the team's overall integration has not gone smoothly.

    The situation was similar to the team’s historic 1998 campaign when a mix of players, some based in Jamaica and English players of Jamaica heritage qualified the unit for the tournament in France.  Ahead of its historic feat, there had also been controversy surrounding the inclusion of the players who were based abroad.

    Internationally, players opting to represent countries where they were not born is hardly an unusual situation.  The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Christian Benteke, and Raheem Sterling, who was born in Jamaica but represents England, are among just a few who feature on the list.

    As it relates to the current crop, however, Thompson believes the aim must be to get the team to gel as soon as possible, a goal that having player labels and categories is unlikely to help.

    “If we can get the team to gel and call everyone Jamaican and not local based or foreign-based or English based, whatever it is, that’s when we will really be able to do some damage in the world, not just the Caribbean,” Thompson told TVJ Sports.

    ‘You don’t hear the German team talking about, oh this guy was from Austria or the US saying the same thing about German-based players.  They're Americans, why are we throwing labels on our players?”

  • PSG's Pochettino understands Angers frustration after contentious Mbappe penalty PSG's Pochettino understands Angers frustration after contentious Mbappe penalty

    Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino said he understood Angers' frustration after a controversial late penalty gave the Ligue 1 leaders a 2-1 victory.

    PSG trailed following Angelo Fulgini's 36th-minute opener before Danilo Pereira's header, their first shot on target, levelled matters on Friday.

    It looked as if they would have to settle for a share of the spoils, but PSG were awarded a penalty after a VAR check for handball against Pierrick Capelle.

    Kylian Mbappe swept home from 12 yards in the 87th minute, with Angers left to fume.

    Romain Thomas felt he was fouled by PSG forward Mauro Icardi in the lead-up to the penalty incident.

    He told Prime Video: "It's incredible what's happened.

    "Losing 2-1 at the end, losing here isn't shameful, but [to lose] like that... no, it's not possible.

    "We worked all week to do something properly and the referees can't take the time to do theirs.

    "VAR... I'm starting to get tired of this story. Putting millions into something when you don't even know how to use it, it annoys me because I'm passionate, I'm dedicated.

    "At the start of the play, he [Icardi] pulled me on the arm, I fell and then he plays from that position for the penalty. So, I'm frustrated."

    Asked about Angers' complaints, Pochettino said: "It's difficult. I haven't seen the action footage yet. I couldn't see correctly whether there was a hand, a penalty or a foul ... I don't know. 

    "I understand Angers' feelings. I myself have often known these situations where the decisions are a little against us. But these are game situations."

    PSG have won 24 Ligue 1 games since the start of the Pochettino era in January 2021 (D2 L5) – at least four more than any other team over the period.

    Mbappe's penalty was his only shot on target from three attempts, his winner following his decisive goal in France's victory over Spain in the Nations League final.

    On Mbappe's performance, Pochettino added: "He is a player about whom we are full of praise. He has enormous qualities, especially that of being decisive when the team needs it."

    Mbappe has scored and delivered an assist in the same Ligue 1 game for only the third time in 2021, after January against Montpellier (two goals, one assist) and April at Strasbourg (one goal, one assist). He has been involved in 27 league goals for the year (20 goals, seven assists) – at least four more than any other player in the top flight.

    PSG are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they have played a game more than second-place Lens.

  • Saelemaekers delighted to continue Milan journey after penning new deal Saelemaekers delighted to continue Milan journey after penning new deal

    Alexis Saelemaekers is delighted to have pledged his long-term future to Milan, after penning a five-year contract with the Rossoneri.

    Saelemaerkers joined Milan from Anderlecht, initially on loan, in January 2020.

    Since then, he has made 52 appearances in Serie A, starting 38 times and helping Milan to 35 victories (only Franck Kessie, Theo Hernandez and Gianluigi Donnarumma have been involved in more league wins in that timeframe).

    He has created 44 chances, providing six league assists and scoring three goals.

    That form has seen him rewarded with a new deal, tying him to the San Siro until June 2026.

    "I'm happy to have grown with this team," Belgium international Saelemaekers told Milan's official website, before expanding on his official Instagram account.

    "Salamandra remains! I'm delighted to continue my story with this great club that has welcomed me and made me feel important immediately," a post read.

    "It's a wonderful emotion that I want to share with all the people who have accompanied me on this journey and in particular with all the Milan fans who are special.

    "I'm proud of my growth which has gone hand in hand with the team. Now, the target is always the same: work, grow and win!

    "Forza Milan God is Great!"

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.