LOS ANGELES, California – After earning its first ever Concacaf Gold Cup win, Curacao has its sights set on adding to its story as it faces Jamaica for a spot in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at Banc of California Stadium.
Curacao controls its destiny and needs only a win to assure itself a spot in the next round. A draw would have its players hoping for a Honduras win in the second match of the evening.
Not wanting to depend on outside results, Head Coach Remko Bicentini knows what his players must accomplish.
“We must win, we must score a goal. We cannot, the whole game, play in defense,” said the Curacao Manager in a pre-match press conference. “We must score one more goal than Jamaica and we are through to the next round.”
Bicentini counts on a squad with 18 of his 23-man roster based in European leagues at the club level – the most of any squad in this year’s Gold Cup.
Forward Elson Hooi is one of eleven players who practice their club careers in the Netherlands. He scored his first two international goals against Jamaica in the 2017 Caribbean Cup final.
“For myself, the national team is more important than my own team so it means a lot,” said Hooi in Monday’s presser. “Our players are very happy. We worked so hard for this. Now we just stay together and work hard to win the third game.”
The two teams also met in Curacao’s first Gold Cup appearance two years ago, a tournament Bicentini continuously points to as a learning experience.
On Tuesday, the two Caribbean nations meet once more with high stakes on the line.
“The whole team from Jamaica is very powerful,” said Bicentini. “We learned from our first Gold Cup in 2017 and that was our preparation for this tournament.”