Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WCQ opponent preview: Jamaica

A quick statistical run down is always a great way to gloss over real stories and match-ups, while emphasizing irrelevant numerical outcomes.

I've got low motivation these days, but as frequency of posting is a key driver of traffic, and blog traffic is pretty much the only thing that can improve my self-esteem, I need to get busy. This seems like an easy way to do so.

Country facts
(cribbed from the spooks):

  • Natural resources include bauxite, gypsum and limestone ... ganja?
  • Population: 2,804,332 (if you don't include the other millions or so living in Toronto).
  • Government is a constitutional parliamentary democracy (holla!)
  • GDP per capita: $7,700
  • Canada is #2 buyer of Jamaican exports.

History against Canada

I can't be certain of the results. I consulted two sources: the excellent RSSSF archives page (which unfortunately cuts out after 1999) and the CSA match archives, which conflicted on the date of the April 1997 match (my table sides with the CSA).

Date Location Result CAN JAM Competition
03/13/85 Montego Bay, Jamaica draw 1 1 Friendly
03/17/85 Kingston, Jamaica draw 0 0 Friendly
04/05/88 Kingston, Jamaica loss 0 4 Friendly
04/07/88 Montego Bay, Jamaica draw 0 0 Friendly
07/03/91 Los Angeles, USA win 3 2 Gold Cup
10/18/92 Kingston, Jamaica draw 1 1 WCQ
11/01/92 Toronto, ON win 1 0 WCQ
08/01/95 Toronto, ON win 3 1 Friendly
04/13/97 Vancouver, BC draw 0 0 WCQ
09/07/97 Kingston, Jamaica loss 0 1 WCQ
09/02/99 Toronto, ON win 1 0 Friendly
09/04/06 Montreal, QC win 1 0 Friendly
10/08/06 Kingston, Jamaica loss 1 2 Friendly

If you're scoring at home, stop! It breaks down thusly: in 13 matches, Canada has a record of 5-5-3 (win-draw-loss). In official competition (WCQ/regional championships), it is 3-1-1, 2-1-1 in WCQ.

The stat that jumps out for me is the record in the T-dot: a solid 3-0 record, with only a single goal conceded over the three matches. In fact, Canada has never lost to Jamaica outside of that country, but their record on the island is not so good (0-4-3). It really speaks to how important it is to put one in the win column when Canada visits Kingston on November 19th.

Jamaica in the World Cup

All of the teams in Canada's group have qualified at least once for the World Cup finals, something that is not true of the other groups. Group C, in fact, includes only one team that has previously played on the biggest of stages: Costa Rica.

Jamaica's history is unremarkable save for their surprise qualification for France '98:

Famous Jamaicans

This far-from-exhaustive list of famous Jamaicans contains only three names I recognize, and two of them are sprinters that went on to compete for other countries (Ben Johnson and Linford Christie). The other is our favourite pot-smoking reggae icon, Bob Marley.

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