Jamaica Dane Richards
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Mixed fortunes for Whitecaps FC players during latest international break

It was a mixed week for four Vancouver Whitecaps FC players following the latest international break.

The main spotlight for soccer fans was on the latest pursuit to qualify for the next FIFA World Cup. For two members of Whitecaps FC, there were contrasting fortunes in their nations’ journeys towards Brazil 2014.

Winger Dane Richards (pictured) was celebrating Jamaica’s progress to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying - known as ‘The Hexagonal’ or ‘The Hex’ - on Tuesday night.

Bouncing back from last Friday’s 2-1 defeat in Guatemala - in which Richards appeared as a late first-half substitute - Jamaica wrapped up their CONCACAF Group A campaign with a convincing 4-1 home win over Antigua & Barbuda on Tuesday evening.

Making the start at the National Stadium in Kingston, Richards scored Jamaica’s third and fourth goals late on in the victory, with the scoreline enough to leapfrog The Reggae Boyz into second place behind Group A winners United States on goal difference. That meant third-place Guatemala missed out on The Hex after Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat in the USA.

As for Kenny Miller and his dreams of World Cup qualification with Scotland, the ‘Caps striker was left disappointed by two away defeats to Wales on Friday and Belgium on Tuesday.

Miller made two late substitute appearances in both European zone Group A qualifiers, with Scotland now facing an uphill task after four matches, as Craig Levein’s side sit bottom of the six-nation qualifying group.

Meanwhile, in the first round of the 2012 Caribbean Cup, striker Atiba Harris’ St. Kitts & Nevis hosted Group 5, which included Whitecaps FC teammate Carlyle Mitchell’s Trinidad & Tobago.

Both players started all three group matches for their countries, with Mitchell’s Soca Warriors advancing to the second round of the competition as Group 5 winners. On Friday, the ‘Caps centre back faced Harris and The Sugar Boyz in T&T’s 1-0 victory.

Though Harris scored in last Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Anguilla, St. Kitts & Nevis missed out on the second round after home defeats to T&T and French Guiana.


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