- by Yemi Abiade -
Jamaica’s woeful attempt to qualify for the World Cup ended with a 2-2 stalemate against Honduras in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying. The Reggae Boyz, playing for pride at this stage, entertained Honduras at ‘The Office’ but made a horrible start.
Honduras went ahead through Carlo Costly’s side-footed volley. The Boyz bounced back within 60 seconds, albeit courtesy of an own goal from defender Claros. It took another deflection for Honduras to regain their lead on 32 minutes. Rodolph Austin gave away a free-kick, which Maynor Figueroa thundered into the wall but managed to loop past goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr and into the net to seal the result. This means that Jamaica’s points tally at the end of qualifying stands at five points, a highly disappointing return.
With this result it is back to the drawing board for the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), despite drafting in Winfried Schafer as head coach with four games remaining. The decision to assign Schafer the task of picking up the pieces after the resignation of Theodore Whitmore in June has not worked out as JFF President Capt. Horace Burrell had expected, with just three points collected out of a potential twelve since his appointment.
However the draw with Honduras and tactical changes, such as a more adventurous 4-3-3 formation, will provide hope that fortunes can turn around. Schafer, whose four month contract ends next month, has publicly asked for an extension, saying: “I think we can build a good team.”
On the team’s overall performance in the fourth round, JFF President Burrell said: “I honestly think we could have done better with the qualifying series, but this is not a time to blame anyone although I believe that inexperience played a major role. Right now I am prepared to look forward and select an administrative grouping that will be capable of assisting us in moving forward. One of the first things I would like to do is to sign coach Schafer and start afresh”.
With the President prepared to give Schafer time and backing, the only way is up for the Reggae Boyz.