National Under-17 coach Andrew Edwards says the young Reggae Boyz face a daunting task if they intend to get something from their games against USA or Mexico and advance from what he calls the ‘group of death’ at the CONCACAF Under-17 championship to be staged in Panama in April and May. At the draw in Panama on Tuesday, the Jamaicans were placed in Group C alongside Mexico, USA and El Salvador. Group A contains the host, Panama, Honduras, Curacao and Haiti; while Group B will be contested by Costa Rica, Canada, Cuba and Suriname. On April 23, Jamaica open their campaign against USA, who defeated them 3-0 and 4-0 in friendlies in November. They then take on El Salvador in their second game on April 26, before closing off against Mexico on April 29. Edwards admits that his team faces a tough challenge, but thinks the Boyz can achieve their objectives with the right effort. “This is easily the group of death; a very difficult group and one in which we will have to perform above and beyond anything we have done to get something out of those two games. “Being drawn alongside CONCACAF powerhouses Mexico and USA is certainly a very daunting task, and it will make our passage to (qualifying for) the FIFA World Cup much more difficult if we can be successful,” Edwards said. Despite convincing losses to USA in their friendly games in November, Edwards believes the team will be competitive and says they will be targeting the Americans in their opening match. “This is football, and we have the capacity to develop our team sufficiently to create a few surprises, and definitely, we will be targeting the first game against the USA. We recently lost two practice matches to that team, but we will go in (to game against them) in a very determined and focused way to get a positive result and try to propel ourselves forward from there,” he said. Meanwhile, in an effort to give the team more competitive matches, a structure was designed for the tournament, which will see the top two teams from each group advancing to the Classification Stage. In this stage, the teams will be placed in two groups of three and will play on a round-robin basis. The top four teams from this round will qualify as CONCACAF’s representatives at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, while the top two teams from each classification group will play a final on May 7. FEW SURPRISES
Many dog owners are sure their pooches get jealous, particularly when the person pays too much attention to someone else’s Fido. Now, scientists have confirmed that these dog lovers are right. Our canine pals can act every bit as resentful, bitter, and hostile as a jealous child—even if the interloper is nothing more than a stuffed toy hound. The researchers modified a test originally developed to assess the emotion in 6-month-old infants. They videotaped 36 dogs as they watched their owners completely ignore them while turning their attention to three different objects: a realistic-looking stuffed dog (which briefly barked and wagged its tail after a button was pushed), a plastic jack-o’-lantern, and a book. The dogs’ behaviors were then rated for aggressiveness, attention seeking, and interest in the owner or object. The fake pooch elicited the strongest response, the researchers report today in PLOS ONE. All the dogs pushed at their owners when the people talked to and petted the toy, and nearly 87% bumped it or tried to get between it and their beloved human. Almost 42% of the dogs actually snapped at the stuffed interloper. The fact that the rival was faux didn’t seem to matter—even pooches that sniffed the toy’s rear end (which 86% of the subjects did) behaved aggressively toward it. The study supports the idea that not all jealousy requires the ability to reflect on one’s self and to understand conscious intentions, as some scientists have argued, but that there is a more basic form of the emotion that likely evolved as a way of securing resources such as food and affection. Infants experience it if their mothers gaze affectionately at other babies, and so do members of another social species: dogs.For more on man’s best friend, see the Science News team’s latest coverage of doggy science.