Whitmore’s Reggae Boyz Thump Minnows In Nations League
Jamaica show six appeal to humble Bonaire
Jamaica made easy work to tear apart Bonaire 6-0 in their CONCACAF Nations League qualifier on Sunday evening.
Yet head coach Theodore Whitmore had to astutely juggle his squad for the match at Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao that they were expected to easily win.
And although the Reggae Boyz made an apprehensive start, leading 2-0 at half-time, they moved up a few gears after the turnaround to hammer the Dutch Caribbean minnows.
Whitmore was determined to improve on last month’s 4-0 home success over neighbouring Cayman Islands in their opening Nations League game, with their result in Kingston widely frowned upon as the Boyz had been expected to hit double figures.
It appeared that their finishing ability would once more be questioned after dogged Bonaire frustrated the visitors in the opening half.
Cory Burke made the breakthrough after quarter of an hour, but the Boyz only doubled their tally two minutes before half-time through Ricardo Morris.
The Boyz needed to show more grit and determination to battle after the break, their superior skills and athleticism giving them a clear edge.
Two goals in a four-minute spell altered the dynamics of the game. Owayne Gordon make it 3-0 on 48 minutes, then Morris notched a second to put Jamaica into cruise control.
With Whitmore’s troops determined not to be criticised for lack of goals again, they pushed forward at every opportunity and were rewarded with Peter-Lee Vassell netting just before the hour-mark and DC United’s Dane Kelly polishing off the scoring off on 81 minutes.
Whitmore had promised “a more professional display” than the Caymans tie, and his side duly delivered.
Yet he was missing some key figures he had originally selected, which included Kevon Lambert (Phoenix Rising FC), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Adrian Mariappa (Watford), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers) and Romario Williams (Atlanta United).
And despite the absent of popular players Whitmore was backed to the hilt for the Bonaire game by the Jamaica Football Federation over the controversy surrounding Leon Bailey’s demands.
Bailey, the talented winger plying his trade in the German top flight with Bayer Leverkusen, offered his services to play for Jamaica – but only on the proviso that his stepbrother Kyle Butler was also part of the national squad.
Bailey is unlikely to be part of the Jamaican squad who tackle Suriname next in their Nations League campaign, hosting the tie at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on 17 November.
The Boyz, CONCACAF’s highest ranked Caribbean team, are targeting progess to League A in the Nations League.
The Boyz are on course to join CONCACAF World Cup Hexagonal campaigners – Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and USA – in League A.
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