REGGAE BOYZ SEEK WIN

Jamaica foward Shamar Nicholson (11) advances the ball during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C soccer match against Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.
Associated Press/John Raoux/File

FIFA World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022 in the CONCACAF Region returns on Thursday with another quadruple-header as teams look to build on strong September showings, or turn the tide if the first three games of the final round did not go as hoped.

“All eight teams are in action and looking to get results that will help them move into the top three, which will automatically qualify them for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, or be the fourth-place team, which moves into a playoff,” CONCACAF said on Wednesday.

The United States plays a World Cup qualification match in Texas for the first time, hosting Jamaica at Austin’s Q2 Stadium.

“While young stars Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna are out with injuries, the US once again can call key pieces like Ricardo Pepi, who scored in a 4-1 win against Honduras that closed out the September window, and midfielder stalwart Tyler Adams,” CONCACAF said.

Fans wave American and Jamaican flags during team warmups before a 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals soccer match, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Associated Press/Brandon Wade/File

It said Jamaica also is missing some of their attacking firepower, with Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey injured and unable to make the trip, but Michail Antonio and Shamar Nicholson, the latter coming off goals against both Mexico and Costa Rica in September’s matches, “will make sure the Reggae Boyz still pack a punch.”

In a dozen meetings, CONCACAF said the US has lost just once to Jamaica in qualification, with Rodolph Austin and the late Luton Shelton on the mark in a 2-1 win in September of 2012, “a speed bump for the North Americans on the road to Brazil 2014.”

CONCACAF said half of the contests between the teams in qualification have ended in a draw.

“Jamaica Head Coach, Theodore Whitmore will hope for another positive result against what should be a passionate crowd cheering on the US in Central Texas,” it said.

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