The Key Match

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

CONCACAF: Jamaica coach Penna defends Oscar Black, picks unchanged team to play Trinidad

TONIGHT'S MATCH against Trinidad will be Jamaica's most decisive in the current Caribbean round of the 3rd CONCACAF championship tournament—a win for Jamaica will clinch a place in the Confederation championship finals in Spanish Honduras next March.

A win for Trinidad will place them in a most favourable position, one point ahead, of Jamaica, and with only the lowly-rated Netherlands Antilles to play, they would be almost certain of at least second place at the end of the tournament.

"When I put a player on the field, it is because I have confidence in him and know that he can do his job," said Jamaica National coach Jorge Penna, as he rose yesterday in angry defence of Oscar Black, criticised after Saturday's match.

"Oscar Black is a good player," he said, "who has had one bad night.

"He played well on Wednesday last against the Netherlands, and just because he had a bad night against Cuba is no reason why I should replace him."

Penna said he is making no change in his team for tonight. He is satisfied with the performance of all the players.

Black has been a star of the Jamaica Regiment in the current 1966-67 Division 1 football competition and is one of the chief goal scorers in the competition. His speed, ball control and quick thinking on one of his "good nights" makes him a most dangerous and valuable forward.


The rest of Jamaica's line-up is as follows: Vester Constantine (goal) and Frank Brown, Winthorpe Bell, Paul Thomas and Delroy Scott holding the defence line. The link men are Arthur Cameron and Lloyd McLean. In the forward will be Oscar Black, Art and Asher Welch and Neville Oxford.

Trinidad's 4-2 defeat by the Haitians gives Jamaica the pre-match edge. Trinidad's defence does not appear to be too strong.

If Art Welch can repeat Saturday night's performance; if Asher Welch and Neville Oxford are in good form and if Oscar Black finds one of his "good nights", Jamaica should have no trouble in dealing with the calypso island players.

The Trinidadians never pick their team until the day of their match so it is still uncertain whether they will be making any change in their line up.

Their forwards had a bad night against the Haitian defence last Monday and their defence crumbled under the bombardment of Haiti's forwards.

Goalkeeper Mouttet had his hands full in that match against Haiti, but he kept a cool head and saved his country from a more impressive beating. He will be in the goal again with a possible slight change in the defence.

There has been no indication that skipper Sedley Joseph will be dropped so he should be playing his same linkman position, assisted by Leroy DeLeon.

The two spectacular schoolboys, Warren Archibald and Everald Cummings together with Alvin Corneal and Pat Small will make up the forwards.

For Jamaica this is the key match of the tournament.

The big question is — will Trinidad be able to break the jinx and beat Jamaica, a feat they have not accomplished since 1958?