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Mariappa Optimistic Over Gold Cup Chances

6 July 2015

With the Gold Cup kicking off later this week, Eagles defender Adrian Mariappa is confident that his Jamaica side can progress from their group and make an impact in the knockout stages.

After seeing themselves invited to the Copa America as guests, they were knocked out at the first stage having been drawn in a tough group alongside Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and narrowly losing all their games by a 1-0 scoreline.

Now the Reggae Boyz head into their usual North American surroundings where they will take on Costa Rica, El Salvador and Canada over the next fortnight.

Jamaica's best finish in the competition was a fourth-place finish in their heyday in 1998 but the Caribbean nation have reached the quarter-finals three times since, and Mariappa is hopeful their tough matches in Chile will stand them in good stead for their next competition, which takes place in the USA and Canada.

He said: "We used these games [in the Copa America] as a building block and then we'll try to go forward from there. 

"We've been playing against some of the best players and the best player in the world [in Lionel Messi], so we knew it was going to be tough.

"It was difficult. I've played games like that throughout my career, with my club team maybe every week. You've to weather the storm sometimes.

"In the Gold Cup I definitely think we should progress from our group. I think in that competition we can get to the later rounds if we definitely play like we have in the Copa America."

Jamaica's Gold Cup fixtures (dates/times BST)
9th July - Costa Rica (Los Angeles) - 4am
12th July - Canada (Houston) - 0.30am
14th July - El Salvador (Toronto) - 11pm

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