Sports Mole previews Thursday’s World Cup qualifying – North Central America clash between Jamaica and El Salvador, including predictions, team news and possible rosters.
El Salvador lead in their match against Jamaica Thursday at the Stade National de l’Indépendance knowing that a victory is essential for them to maintain their slim hopes of qualifying for World Cup 2022 living.
At this stage, the highest La Selecta can finish is fourth, which would qualify them for the Inter-Confederation playoffs, while Reggae Boyz are out of contention for a place in Qatar with seven points after 11 matches played.
The dream of a second trip to the final will have to wait for the Jamaicans, who were officially knocked out of the World Cup in February in a 62nd-minute strike from Joel Campbell gave Costa Rica a 1-0 win.
Jamaica appeared to be on their way back to vying for a place in the upcoming tournament, having gone unbeaten in their last three qualifying matches of 2021.
Unfortunately, this race was not enough to Theodore Whitmore retain his position as director, but his replacement Paul room has yet to win a game since taking over the job on an interim basis.
Three second-half debacles against Mexico, Panama and Los Ticos killed any momentum this team had built up heading into the New Year, as they were able to claim points in those three encounters, scoring the opening goal against El Tri and Los Canaleros.
Given this team’s performance in previous CONCACAF Gold Cup campaigns, as well as the caliber of players flourishing in the Premier League and Major League Soccer (MLS), it must be a huge disappointment for this program to know. that they won’t be a part of another World Cup.
Unlike other nations in this region, the Reggae Boyz have not always been able to have their best players readily available for matches due to COVID restrictions with overseas travellers.
Not only that, but until recently they also didn’t have much home-field advantage, with the Jamaican government limiting the number of fans allowed for their games played in the Caribbean.
The Salvadorans are still in contention to play their first World Cup since 1982, but the error is no longer allowed.
With so much at stake for this team, the last thing this group needed was a distraction, but sadly the off-field turmoil made headlines in El Salvador ahead of their game against Canada, which they lost. 2-0.
Prior to the encounter, the players had threatened not to play after being criticized by the Salvadoran Football Federation for talking to the media about having to buy cold weather equipment out of their own pockets ahead of their 2018 qualifying match. January against the United States in Columbus.
Although this threat was quickly retracted, Hugo Perez and his team must do two things on Thursday, which have only been accomplished once in La Selecta football history, score a goal in Jamaica and defeat the Reggae Boyz on their home ground for the first time since 1992.
Although their World Cup destiny is no longer in their hands, with Panama eight points behind and three matches to go, there has been definite progress with this program going forward.
La Selecta reached the CONCACAF qualifying finals for the first time since the 2010 campaign when they collected eight points, and they have collected nine points so far this time around.
Since entering the Octagon, the Salvadorans have played passively, maintaining a solid defensive presence all over the pitch and teeming with opposition teams with plenty of players behind the ball.
Jamaica World Cup Qualification Form – North Central America:
Form of Jamaica (all competitions):
Form El Salvador – World Cup Qualifiers – North Central America:
Form of El Salvador (all competitions):
Jamaican striker Michael Antonio has been one of the top contributors throughout the season for his Premier League side West Ham, as the 31-year-old is level with Jarrod Bowen for the team led with eight goals, and he also contributed with seven assists.
Bobby Decordova – Reid has six league goals and six assists for Fulham as they look set to return to English football’s top flight, leading the league with 77 points, while the Philadelphia Union keeper Andre Blake posted consecutive clean sheets in MLS.
Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock picked up his third international cap in a loss to the Costa Ricans, while Shamar Nicholsonwho was not selected in the previous qualifying window, is second in goals for this team in the Octagon with two, one less than Antonio.
In November, the captain of El Salvador Alex Rollan saved a point for his side against the Reggae Boyz, scoring the equalizer in the 90th minute, while Nelson Bonilla and Darwin Ceren scored in their last win, 2-0 against Honduras.
Ceren can level with the former defender Alfredo Pacheco for most all-time appearances with La Selecta, as the Houston Dynamo midfielder currently has 84 international caps, while the forward Christian Gil made his first appearance for the senior side in the last qualifying window, starting alongside Roldan and Jairo Henriquez in a 1-0 loss to the United States.
Mario Gonzalez has four clean sheets for Salvadorans in the Octagon, while Eric Calvillo picked up their third cap in their home loss to Canada.
Possible starting lineup from Jamaica:
Blake; Lawrence, Mariappa, Lowe, Pinnock; Brown, Williams, Morrison, Flemmings; Grey, Antonio
El Salvador possible starting composition:
González; Tamacas, Zavaleta, Dominguez, Larin; Ceren, Henriquez, Orellana, Roldan, Rivas; Bonilla
We say: Jamaica 2-0 El Salvador
The Reggae Boyz will be determined to finish this qualifying cycle strong, and they have the individual quality to do the job against the Salvadorans.
We think El Salvador’s World Cup dream will end here, as they still have work to do when it comes to being a constant threat in attack, and they’re a different team when it comes to football. they play outside.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.More than 1.5: data