Reggae Boyz out to spoil World Cup celebrations for Canada | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The final and decisive window of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) for Qatar 2022 continues on Sunday with matchday 13, the penultimate round of games

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, which are second from the bottom of the eight-team table and with only pride to play for will travel to the BMO Field in Toronto to play Canada at 3:05 pm Jamaica time

For Canada, their long-awaited return to the FIFA World Cup could be sealed on the day in front of their home crowd. And the Reggae Boyz will be hoping to spoil the party.

The Canadians suffered their first defeat in all rounds of WCQ for Qatar 2022 in the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, but the friendly confines of BMO Field should provide some comfort to the hosts, who remain table leaders with 25 points.

Helping matters is Canada’s history of playing at home versus Jamaica in WCQ, with one win and two draws previously. Either one of those results would be enough to secure Canada’s place in Qatar.

The Jamaican defense will have to contend with the dual threat of Jonathan David and Cyle Larin, who each have five goals in the Third Round, but the Reggae Boyz have talent as well in the form of winger Leon Bailey and Andre Gray; the latter’s fine finish earned Jamaica a point in the 1-1 draw with El Salvador on Thursday.

Jamaica can also point to an all-time record of 9W-6D-6L against Canada, so a very tight, intense duel should be on the cards in Toronto

El Salvador vs Costa Rica

The lone winner from matchday 12 on Thursday will look to keep the momentum going, as red-hot Costa Rica travel to El Salvador in what should be a scintillating affair as part of matchday 13.

The Ticos arrive into the encounter with El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador fresh off a 1-0 home win over previously unbeaten Canada. Costa Rica have now taken 13 points from their last five matches to vault themselves into fourth-place in the table with 19 points.

Celso Borges was the hero with the winning goal against the Canadians and will look to lead his side once again in San Salvador. Costa Rica’s history of playing away in El Salvador should also provide a confidence boost. The Ticos have two wins and two defeats in their last four qualifiers on Salvadoran soil dating back to WCQ for France 1998.

Veterans like Borges, Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas, and Joel Campbell will be called upon to provide the attacking spark, but they will go up against an El Salvador side that will be keen to deliver a victory to their fans in their final home WCQ and snap their nine-match winless streak to Costa Rica, which has spanned six draws and three defeats.

Eriq Zavaleta scored the lone Salvadoran goal in the 1-1 draw at Jamaica on Thursday, which eliminated the Cuscatlecos from advancing to Qatar, but one to watch will be Jairo Henriquez, who scored for El Salvador in their first qualifier against Costa Rica last October, a 2-1 loss in San Jose.

USA vs Panama

The United States are back in action after their 0-0 draw with Mexico and return home to face Panama at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

It is a site that has brought the USA good luck in previous WCQs against Panama. In WCQ for Russia 2018, the USA defeated Panama 4-0, in which Christian Pulisic had a goal and an assist. Pulisic and the USA, currently second with 22 points, would like nothing better than to earn a similar result to boost their Qatar 2022 chances. A win against the Canaleros and Costa Rica dropping points in El Salvador would secure a World Cup return for the USA.

But Panama will have plenty to say about that. The Central Americans drew 1-1 at home with Honduras on Thursday and are now fifth in the table with 18 points, but a win in Orlando would catapult the Central Americans right back in the conversation for a top-three finish.

Panama can also point to their 1-0 win over the USA last October in Panama where an Anibal Godoy goal earned the three points. They will be aiming to repeat that feat and earn a first-ever WCQ win on U.S. soil (0W-0D-4L).

Honduras vs Mexico

Rounding out the matchday is third-place Mexico (22 points) traveling to the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula to take on Honduras.

El Tricolor kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 home draw with the USA and will seek a return to the scoresheet in Honduras. 3-0 has been the scoreline of late between the two sides, with Mexico winning their first qualifier by that margin, on top of last summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal by the same final scoreline.

Forward Hirving Lozano was one of the goalscorers from that qualifying win and will try to do the same on Sunday, but it will be in a stadium where Honduras have a long history of success against Mexico, including a comeback 3-2 win in the final matchday of WCQ for Russia 2018.

Overall, Honduras have a 5W-4D-3L record against Mexico in home qualifiers, and the chance to complicate El Tricolor’s path to Qatar is there for the taking.