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Football : Caribbean Showdown Set as JA faces T&T

Source : Caribbean Life
CONCACAF said on Monday that things circle back around to Group A in the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday, with Caribbean foes Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago squaring off, followed by the United States taking on St Kitts and Nevis.

Jamaica vs. Trinidad and Tobago

“It’s a Caribbean Classic on Wednesday at CITY PARK in Saint Louis, Missouri when Jamaica meets Trinidad and Tobago in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A showdown,” CONCACAF said. “It is the first time the Caribbean teams will meet at the Gold Cup.”

CONCACAF said both teams were able to avoid a loss in their first match, with Trinidad and Tobago getting goals from Alvin Jones, Ajani Fortune, and an own goal to get past St. Kitts and Nevis 3-0 in their opening game.

For Jones, it was his first Gold Cup goal in eight matches, while Fortune scored in his Gold Cup debut, CONCACAF said.

It said Jamaica sits on a point after the first matchday, with a goal from DF Damion Lowe putting the Reggae Boyz ahead before they conceded and drew 1-1 with the United States.

CONCACAF said Lowe’s goal came from a free kick taken by FW Demarai Gray, who made his Jamaica debut and will hope to earn another cap, while Trinidad and Tobago will look for more strong showings from FW Levi Garcia leading their line and Kevin Molino, who is tied as the nation’s all-time top scorer in the Gold Cup with four goals.

The rivals met earlier this year in a pair of friendly matches, with Trinidad and Tobago winning the first and the teams drawing the second, CONCACAF said.

“That renewed a series that hasn’t been played often in recent years, with the last meeting in an official match coming nearly a decade ago when Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago in a shootout after a scoreless draw in the 2014 Caribbean Cup final,” it said.

After Wednesday’s contest, Jamaica closes group plays against St. Kitts and Nevis, while Trinidad and Tobago will square off with the United States.

St. Kitts and Nevis vs. United States

Group A play at the Concacaf Gold Cup continues as the United States faces St. Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday at CITY PARK in Saint Louis, Missouri.

CONCACAF said St. Kitts and Nevis is coming off its first-ever match in the Gold Cup group stage, a 3-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

It said the chance to play in that game came after getting through the Gold Cup Prelims.

CONCACAF said GK Julani Archibald helped the Sugar Boyz win back-to-back penalty shootouts to get out of that round and earn a Gold Cup group stage debut.

“After a tough opener, St. Kitts and Nevis manager Austin Huggins and his squad now are drawing up a game plan to face the United States, the Gold Cup defending champion,” CONCACAF said.

“Huggins will look for a strong performance at the back from veteran DF Lois Maynard and hope FW Tiquanny Williams can influence proceedings after scoring a goal and setting up another in the Prelim,” it added.

CONCACAF said the US started its title defense with a 1-1 draw against Jamaica, getting a second-half goal from FW Brandon Vazquez to secure a point.

It was just the second draw for the U.S. in a Gold Cup opener, with the previous coming in 2017 versus Panama, which also ended 1-1, CONCACAF said.

It said the draw also extended the unbeaten run for the US to seven matches, with four wins and three draws.

CONCACAF said Vazquez hopes to force his way into US coach B.J. Callaghan’s starting lineup, with the coach “considering how to keep his players fresh during what he hopes is a long run to Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium for the Final.”

“First, though, it will be eager to secure all three points against St Kitts and Nevi,” it said. “The US closes group play against current leaders Trinidad and Tobago, while Saint Kitts and Nevis meets Jamaica in their final group match.”