Jamaica, Mexico renew rivalry as CONCACAF unveil schedule

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MIAMI, United States (CMC) – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will lock horns with reigning champions Mexico in a replay of the 2015 final, after both teams were installed in Group C of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday.
The Reggae Boyz went down 3-1 in the final of the last edition of the biennial tournament, and will now have a chance to make amends when they face El Tri in the preliminary round on July 13 at the Sports Authority Field in Denver.
Group C will be a tough one for the Jamaicans, as it also comprises Central American side El Salvador and Caribbean outfit Curacao.
The Reggae Boyz will open their campaign against the Dutch side on July 9 at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, and take on El Salvador in their final preliminary outing on July 16 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Jamaica were one of the outstanding sides in the 2015 tournament, playing unbeaten in the preliminaries to top their group, before edging their French Caribbean neighbours Haiti in the quarter-finals and stunning hosts United States in the semi-finals.
New CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said he expected this year’s tournament to unearth similar excitement.
“With the groups now determined, we have a full look at the schedule of Gold Cup matches to be played this July,” Montagliani said.
“With so many compelling matches set to take place in great stadiums from coast to coast, culminating at Levi’s Stadium on July 26, it’s going to be an exciting summer of football for fans across the region.”
The two other Caribbean sides in the Gold Cup have been handed challenging assignments. French Guiana have been drawn in Group A alongside Honduras, Costa Rica and Canada while Martinique will clash in Group B with United States, Panama and either Haiti or Nicaragua.
Haiti and Nicaragua will do battle in a home-and-away playoff on March 24 and 28, to determine the final Group B spot.
The quarter-finals of the confederation’s premier tournament are scheduled for Philadelphia and Glendale, Arizona on July 19 and 20, with the semis on July 22 and 23 in Arlington, Texas and Pasadena, California.
The tournament kicks off July 7 at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey with a Group A clash between Central American rivals, Honduras and Costa Rica.

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