Beaten by Japan and France respectively in their Group B openers, Jamaica and Argentina have little margin for error when they square off in Monterrey, where a second defeat could well deal a mortal blow to their hopes of progressing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.
Though he described his side’s opening game against Japan as not being crucial, Jamaica coach Wendell Downswell knows the same cannot be said of this match. The equation is stark: win and stay alive in the competition, or lose and face almost certain elimination.
Overrun by the French on Saturday and booed by the fans, Argentina now have the opportunity to restore their reputation in a match they will be expected to win. Having had three days to lick their wounds and assess what went wrong, the time has come for La Albiceleste to show their pedigree.
The Jamaicans are still looking for their first FIFA U-17 World Cup point, though they can take plenty of pride from their gutsy display against Japan, where they did everything but score. Should the Reggae Boyz display the same appetite against their esteemed South American opponents, they will have a fine chance of breaking their tournament duck.
0 - Still pointless at the FIFA U-17 World Cup after losing all three of their games at New Zealand 1999 and their first here, the Jamaicans are also looking for their first-ever goal in the competition. The only other side with a similarly blank record is Algeria.
“Our qualification chances are still intact and I’m hopeful we can beat Argentina. It’s obviously going to be a very difficult game but I think we’re capable of pulling it off,” Jamaica coach Wendell Downswell
“Argentina are a great team and I hope we’ll have the chance to prove that. We need to keep moving forward and working hard. This is not over, and we have two testing games ahead of us. It’s up to us to win them and qualify,” Argentina coach Oscar Garre