Jamaica v El Salvador: Mariappa hints at Jamaica's title target
Defender Adrian Mariappa hinted Jamaica are targeting overall glory at the CONCACAF Gold Cup as they look ahead to their clash with El Salvador.
Jamaica left it late to overcome Canada 1-0 in Houston on Saturday as they moved to the top of Group B, but their persistence and determination had the entire squad plus coach Winfried Schafer excited about the rest of the tournament.
Mariappa declared Jamaica's confidence is sky-high heading into Tuesday's clash with El Salvador, with the Caribbean nation needing just a draw to cement their spot in the Gold Cup quarter-finals.
"We were all up for [Canada] and now we've a lot of confidence going forward to the El Salvador game," the 28-year-old said, according to The Gleaner.
Jamaica lead Group B with four points, two ahead of both Costa Rica and El Salvador, with Canada bottom of the standings with one.
Mariappa and Co. are looking to become the first Jamaica team to reach the Gold Cup last-four since 1998, although the Crystal Palace man seems to believe they could go even further.
"We know that we can achieve things," he said.
"So this tournament is something we're all very focused about, achieving what we think we can.
"So going into the next game, we definitely want to get another positive result."
Jamaica will head into the match against El Salvador in Toronto having not lost to the Central Americans since 2000, with five wins in that period, including three in a row.
El Salvador have generally had the better of their two matches so far but have been unable to turn their dominance in terms of goal-scoring opportunities into victory.
It has been an ongoing theme for Albert Roca's team, with the Salvadorans having only triumphed in one of their eight matches this year.
El Salvador needed a stoppage-time volley from Dustin Corea to earn a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica on Saturday but even if they lose, Roca's side could advance to the quarter-finals as one of the leading two third-placed teams.
Roca's men currently lead the third-place standings with two points ahead of the final round of group matches.