Jamaica’s under-23 team will be in for a fight after their opponents in tomorrow’s final first-round CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament showed class in dismissing Dominica 4-0 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Cmplexo in Kingston.

The young Reggae Boyz, who started as favourites to win Group A, found a stubborn Dominica and had to come from behind to draw the game 1-1.

With just three teams in the group after Guyana pulled out, St Kitts and Nevis would find themselves with a glorious opportunity to go top with their game against Dominica to come on Friday.

St Kitts and Nevis took that chance, burying the Dominicans under four unanswered goals to take sole leadership of the group headed into the final game against Jamaica on Sunday.

With just one team from each group going through to the next round of Olympic qualifying, the Jamaicans face a must-win situations, while St Kitts and Nevis just need a draw.

In Group D, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will be in an almighty fight. The two play tomorrow at the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristobal. Both teams have three points but Puerto Rico, who beat St Lucia 1-0 yesterday, have a goal difference problem after the Dominican Republic trounced Antigua and Barbuda 4-0 on the same day.

With four teams in that group though, both teams will have a chance to qualify when the Dominican Republic, faces St Lucia and Puerto Rico faces Antigua and Barbuda. Despite that, neither will want to lose tomorrow because they could face an uphill task come the final game.

In Group B, being played at the Ulrich Sports Complex Soccer Field, Cuba’s under-23s lost 1-0 to Barbados, who were playing their first game of the group after Trinidad and Tobago pulled out, making that a three-team affair as well.

Cuba had, earlier in the week, beaten the US Virgin Islands 2-0, but now face an anxious wait, as Barbados now have the change to go to six points and take sole leadership of the group and a spot in the next round.

Group C of the competition, which involves the Cayman Islands, Grenada, and Haiti, kicks off on Wednesday.

Cayman and Grenada play at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town on Wednesday, while Grenada tackles Haiti on Friday at the same venue.

Jamaica drew with Dominica and Lance Whittaker believes the home team are in trouble with talented 'smaller' nations.

Following Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw between Jamaica and Dominica, there is growing confidence within the St. Kitts and Nevis squad competing in the preliminary round of the men’s Olympic qualifying in Kingston.

Following two weeks of solid preparations, which ended with a 1-1 draw in a practice match against Antigua and Barbuda.

With the preparation behind them and having seen their opponents at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Wednesday, St. Kitts and Nevis believe their chances are good.

“From last night I feel we can match any team in this tournament,” said 21-year-old Yohannes Mitchum who just completed his contract with Puebla U23 in Mexico. “I am very confident that we can top the group.”

Team manager, Jamir Claxton, said his central midfielder’s confidence is not misplaced.

“We are very confident. This team is a very talented team that has been playing together for a number of years,” he said.

“In fact, the core of this team has been together from the 2017 CONCACAF U20 championships, plus some players from the last CONCACAF U20 tournament.

“Preparations have been going well. The majority of the players are playing in St. Kitts so there was no problem getting them together. Over the last two weeks, we had two overseas-based players join us.”

Besides Mitchum, the team boasts game-changing talent in several other positions as well. Midfielder Tyreese Shade suits up for Leicester City’s U21 team in the United Kingdom, Tahir Harley, a forward who plays for Village Superstars in the St. Kitts and Nevis Premier League and forward G’Vaune Amory will make life difficult for Jamaica and Dominica.

Success in the qualification process and the ultimate qualification for the 2020 Olympics would be an occasion for his country to savour.

“It would be a historic feat. It would mean a lot to the people of St.Kitts. This team is representative of our people,” Claxton said.

 “We are a small nation but we are always aiming for the stars to achieve an objective of that nature would bring joy, happiness and pride to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

St. Kitts plays Dominica at 4:00 pm (5:00 pm ECT) Friday at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

 

 

 

 

St Kitts and Nevis target finishing above Jamaica in CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers.

Jamaica Sunshine Girls Marvette Anderson talks about the team's disappointing performance at the Netball World Cup.

Maurice Wilson, head coach of the Sprintec Track Club, has come out against the proposed method for selecting Jamaica’s female sprint hurdlers for the team to compete at the IAAF World Championships in September.

Heads are going to roll following Jamaica’s disastrous campaign at the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup.

Jamaica Sunshine Girls star shooter Jhanielle Fowler-Reid admits that the team was ‘devastated’ to be facing an almost certain exit from the Netball World Cup following a loss to England on Monday.

The Jamaicans entered the tournament full of confidence as the world number two ranked team behind Australia.  They certainly failed to live up to the elevated spot, however, following losses to 3rd ranked England and 5th ranked South Africa in the preliminary round.

Jamaica, with one win and two losses, lie third in Group B on two points, and now have to defeat Scotland and Uganda by huge margins and hope that England or South Africa lose their remaining games in order for them to sneak into the semi-finals.

Fowler-Reid, the West Coast Fever goal shooter, has delivered her usual outstanding play so far but was quick to admit that the team was bitterly disappointed, particularly with higher expectations placed on their shoulders ahead of the tournament.  The attacker, however, insisted the players would try to recover.

 “We’re devastated, we’re disappointed because we wanted to go further,” she said. “But what can we do? We’re not going to kill ourselves.”

 

 

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls went into the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup on a high. Days before the competition began in Liverpool, England, the Caribbean netball queens had risen to number two in the world rankings.

World number two-ranked Jamaica were left searching for answers after a stunning upset at the hands of South Africa at the Netball World Cup on Sunday.

Facing a deficit for most of the match, the Sunshine Girls fought back late on, but in the end, the South Africans held on for a 55-52 victory.  Led by shooter Lenize Potgieter the Proteas established an early 16-9 lead after the first quarter.

Jamaica played much better in the second quarter, but it was South Africa who stretched their lead by another four goals as they netted another 16 points.  At half time the score was 32-21 at half-time.  A big third quarter from Jamaica saw the team outscore the South Africans 17-10 to begin the final period just four points adrift. 

The top three in each group advance to the second preliminary phase. South Africa’s win over Jamaica sets them up well for the run to the semi-finals.

The Jamaicans were two down heading into the final minute and saw their chances ended when the Proteas won a crucial interception.  Jhanelle Fowler-Reid led the way for the Jamaicans with 38 goals from 39 attempts, Potgieter was 36 from 39 for the South Africans.

Despite a poor shooting night from ace goal shooter Romelda Aiken, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have managed to maintain a perfect record after two games at the Vitality Netball World Cup in England.

Playing against Trinidad and Tobago, who were on the backfoot after an opening-day loss to South Africa, the Sunshine Girls started slowly but eased away to a 68-43 win.

“Not the best start. Not the start we wanted,” said Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, the Sunshine Girls captain.

Fowler-Reid was referring to the closeness of the first quarter the Sunshine Girls just managed to edge, 17-15.

Unfortunately for the Sunshine Girls’ Caribbean opponents, they could not keep pace and lost the second quarter 25-8, to go into halftime 42-23.

“We picked it up in the second quarter,” said Fowler-Reid, who was also quick to point out that her team needed to quit making unforced errors.

T&T would not quit after that dreadful second quarter and scored 11 goals in the third but still trailed badly on account of 15 goals from the Sunshine Girls.

At 57-34, going into the final quarter, the game was well and truly over, but credit to T&T, they were not in the mood to throw in the towel, giving as good as they got to end the quarter 11-9. Of course, that was no help on the final scorecard but it might give the Caribbean side some confidence headed into their final group game against Fiji.

Aiken ended her night with seven goals from 13 attempts, a very conservative outing for the usually prolific goal shooter. Rebekah Robinson didn’t have a great game at goal attack either sinking 11 of her 20 attempts, but fortunately for the Jamaicans, their squad runs deep.

Fowler-Ried, replacing Aiken, was brilliant, knocking down 38 goals from just 40 attempts, while Shanice Beckford was almost lights out from the goal attack position, scoring 12 of her 14 attempts.

The four were largely too good for the efforts of T&T’s Samantha Wallace, 19 of 24, Jameela McCarthy, five of six, and Kalifa McCollin, 19 of 21.

Speaking about Aiken’s sub-par performance, Fowler-Reid, expressed confidence.

“There is no concern for Romelda. She will be ok for the next game. She just had to get over some jitters and remember how good a shooter she is,” said the skipper.

Fowler-Reid did issue a warning to her teammates though, saying South Africa were not the team to make the kind of mistakes they have, against.

“There are too many turnovers. These are unforced errors. Errors that we cause on our own. South Africa is going to punish us if we do that because they are an awesome team,” said Fowler-Ried.

While issuing the warning, the skipper did return to her confident base, saying she was sure the team would get it right when the time came to do so.

“We know what we can do and we can correct that in no time,” she said.

Assistant Referees Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing and Princess Brown are basking in the glory of World Cup heaven.

The Jamaicans are back home after an exemplary stint at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France where Concacaf giant the USA retained its title after blanking The Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on July 7th.

Yee Sing and Brown, who were among eight Assistant Referees and five Referees representing Concacaf at the showpiece, top of their performance with doing duty in the semi-final match between The Netherlands and Sweden.

The Jamaicans supported Canada’s Soleil Beaudoin, who was in charge in the middle.

The pair continues to be the region's standard bearers, after last year becoming the first Caribbean officials — male or female — to feature in a World Cup final at the Under-17 tournament in Uruguay.

Prior to being awarded one of the two semi-finals, the team of Brown and Yee Sing, along with Beaudoin, officiated three other games with distinction.

It started on June 8 with the Group B clash between Germany and China at Roazhon Park, Rennes, followed by the June 17 Group A fixture between Norway and South Korea at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.

Their next assignment came on June 23, the Round of 16  between host France and Brazil at Stade Océane, Le Havre. The team was also reserved for two other contests.

Both Brown and Yee Sing are floating on Cloud Nine after the magical, life-changing experience.

“It was a great moment and an honor for us, it was also a challenge. We knew that we had to go out there and we had to work very hard to get another game, so we took it one game at a time to achieve our goal.

“I was really surprised (when we got the semi-finals) because you have other referees who were there who had a lot of World Cup experience, and for us to be there it was a great privilege,” noted Brown, the more experienced of the two.

 Brown, who rose from the deep rural Jamaican community of Mosquito Bottom in St Elizabeth parish, had made her debut at a global event when she officiated in one match at the Fifa Women's World Cup Canada 2015.

The Jamaican made an observation on the use of the cutting edge Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which, on review, overturned an off-side call by her in France. 

“It's a different system and you have to know how to work with VAR. I had a decision with VAR and I felt bad in myself not making the right decision because even though you have help, you want to make the decision on your own, but it is an experience and I was glad that VAR was there to correct me and I just have to move on from that,” Brown noted.

Yee Sing described the overall experience as “an amazing feeling”.

“It was my first World Cup and it surpassed what I went there to do, so I am happy about this accomplishment.

“We took it one game at a time, but to be doing a semi-final, I said to Princess I think I am a small fry compared to the other referees that were there. So I was totally surprised that I got to do a semi-final on my first attempt and I am really proud of that,” Yee Sing noted.

She said while it was her first time performing at the highest level, she was neither intimated nor fearful.

“There was no fear to make my calls because from what we learn at home, training should reflect the game and everything that we did in training is basically what came out in the game and our referee gave us that confidence in ourselves to make decisions and help her to make decisions, so we could look good as a team.

“So basically it is what we have been doing in training and how they see our growth, how we perform each game and how we improve on whatever task they gave us that may have resulted in us getting the semi-finals. And to be honest, they told us we exceeded their expectation, just as how we exceeded our own expectations,” she said.

Jamaican Olympian Twilet Malcolm died on Wednesday morning in Houston, Texas, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 50 years old.

Eleven teams comprised of more than 200 players and officials from six counties are expected in Jamaica later this month for the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Under-19 and Under-18 Championships at GC Foster College.

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