Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will start the CONCACAF stage of the 2020 women’s Olympic Games qualifiers on Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Jamaica time), when they tackle Mexico at HEB Park in Edinburgh, Texas.
The task is a difficult one for the Girlz, as only two teams will advance to the quadrennial tournament, from eight remaining at this stage of the CONCACAF qualifiers.
They will have to first finish in the top two of Group B, which also involves Canada and Saint Kitts and Nevis, with both going against each other in the day’s opener at 5:30 pm.
After finishing first or second in the group, for the Reggae Girlz to advance, they will then have to conquer an opponent from Group A, which has Costa Rica, the United States of America, Haiti and Panama.
The Reggae Girlz will be confident they can make history again, after their first-ever qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in the summer of last year. They had to get by these same teams to qualify for the World Cup.
Since then, however, they have had a myriad of issues with the players protesting not being paid and the resignations of head coach Hue Menzies and assistant Lorne Donaldson.
They will be going into their first battle since the departure of the coaches, with another assistant Hubert Busby taking up the mantle as head coach.
Donaldson, with Menzies and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) locked in a payment dispute, had guided Jamaica past Caribbean opponents Barbados, St Lucia, Cuba and the US Virgin Islands last year in the first phase of the Olympic Games qualifiers.