The last time Jamaica met Suriname in a Caribbean Cup football encounter, 20 years ago in Trinidad and Tobago, the South Americans surprised their Jamaican 3-1. Now, the present group of Reggae Boyz have an opportunity to avenge that defeat when they face Suriname in their must-win Caribbean Cup qualifier this evening at the National Stadium starting at 6 o’clock. A win for either team will earn each a place in the 2017 Caribbean Cup semi-finals next June, as well as a spot in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Both teams beat eliminated Guyana, the other team in Group 1. Jamaica, the defending champions, will be missing captain Je-vaughn Watson and full-back Kemar Lawrence through injury, but although Coach Theodore Whitmore expects a very difficult match, he is just as optimistic that they will get the better of their opponents and move on to the regional football finals and secure their place in the CONCACAF showpiece, the Gold Cup. “We know Suriname are a very hard-running team, and when any of these Caribbean teams play against Jamaica, they are always up for it. We know the situation and we know it’s going to be tough, but we are looking forward to a good game, a good result and a positive performance,” he told the Sunday Gleaner. “We are the champions of the Caribbean and we are looking forward to being a part of the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup as well, so we have to do what we have to do … and we don’t want to leave anything to chance,” Whitmore, who was a member of the team that lost to Suriname in 1996, added. Although the team will miss the experience of Watson in midfield and Lawrence’s quality at left-back, Whitmore thinks this group is more than capable of making up for their absence. “With the absence of these players, we are a bit unbalanced, but it’s workable and we are looking for a positive result. It’s going to be tough, but we will maintain a level head and look for a positive result. It’s the same players from the Guyana game and they are hungry, motivated and focused, so we will be giving a 110 percent performance,” he said. Key players for Jamaica will be forward Owayne Gordon, defenders Dicoy Williams, Shaun Francis and Alvas Powell goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake and forward Dino Williams. Suriname’s coach, Roberto Godeken, will be relying on some key players to give him victory against the Reggae Boyz. Midfielders Roxey Fer and Mitchell Kisoor are expected to provide much of the danger upfront for the visitors, and along with strikers Dimitrie Apai and Stefano Rijssel. Jamaica defeated Guyana 4-2 in extra-time in their Group I match, while Suriname stopped the said opponent 3-2 for both teams to come into today’s game on three points. If the game is tied at the end of 90 minutes, extra-time will be required. If the extra period fails to separate the teams, penalties will be used to decide the winner.
– 8:40 p.m.: Harbour View vs UWI FC at Harbour View Stadium Yesterday’s Results Today’s match Nicholas Scott’s brace led Rivoli United to a vital 3-2 victory against Boys’ Town in the Red Stripe Premier League yesterday at Barbican Complex. Scott, in his second game for the Spanish Town-based club, netted in the 15th and 73rd minutes, while Ross Burton added another goal in the 32nd minute. For the losers, the goalscorers were Rafiek Thomas (45th) and Shamar Nicholson (86th). The win pushed relegation-threatened Rivoli to 22 points, while Boys’ Town remained on 27 points. Scott, who transferred from Tivoli Gardens, was a major influence for his new club and the goals apart, he made some good passes and movements on and off the ball. Rivoli started the game with more purpose than Boys’ Town and were rewarded early in the first half when Scott finished past Kirk Porter. Burton doubled the lead to put his team 2-0 up, before Thomas pulled back a goal on the stroke of half-time. Scott scored again when he headed home a perfect right-sided cross from Kevin Graham. Boys’ Town’s Nicholson made the game interesting when he scored in the dying moments. Two-goal hero Scott, brought in by Rivoli’s management to replace striker Cory Burke (who is away on a deal in the United States), showed his class. Scott said he is at Rivoli to replace Burke by scoring goals. “Well, it’s a good performance for my new club. I chose to leave Tivoli to replace Burke and the plan is to continue scoring goals and lift Rivoli to safety,” the former Jamaica College Manning Cup winner told The Gleaner. “Coming in for Burke, who scored 10 goals before leaving, is a big task but I’m up to it,” he added. Rivoli’s coach, Mark Williams, praised Scott as a natural goalscorer. “He (Scott) is a good signing for us. And, for him to score two goals in only his second match should help to lift the spirit of the team,”Williams reasoned. Williams also said it was a wonderful win for Rivoli. “It’s been a long time since we have won a game, so this should serve as a big boost. We will next face Tivoli in a rescheduled game on Wednesday,” he added. Boys’ Town’s coach, Andrew Price, said his team was lethargic in the first half, but improved in the second half. – Reno 2 Cavalier SC 0 – Boys’ Town 2 Rivoli United 3 – Humble Lion 3 Portmore United 1 – Arnett Gardens 1 Tivoli Gardens 1 – Waterhouse 0 MoBay Utd 0