Jamaica’s Reggae Boys suffered a huge setback in their World Cup campaign last night.
Jose Manuel ‘Chepo’ de la Torre stuck with the same starting line up that drew 2-2 in a friendly with Nigeria days prior. However, the offensive pep didn’t carry over, with Jamaica’s deep, well-drilled defense repelling El Tri effectively. The best chance of the first half came from a long-range snap shot by Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez that skimmed wide of the post.
But the visitors didn’t have to wait long to break through in the second half. Minutes after the restart, Gerardo Torrado chipped the ball ahead to the overlapping Carlos Salcido, who crossed into the box. Aldo de Nigris met the ball with a header that beat Donovan Ricketts.
On the other end, Jesus Corona had to pull off a pair of reflex near-post blocks to keep El Tri ahead.
A quarter hour into the half, Ricketts rushed out to smother a Chicharito shot once Jesus Zavala slipped the Manchester United striker through.
Jamaica’s best chance came midway through the half. Alvas Powell, making his international debut at 18, put the ball in the box, where Marvin Elliott lurked unmarked. The Bristol City midfielder screwed his header into the turf and it bounced wide of the gaping goal.
In the final minutes, Ricketts once again stuffed Chicharito, who had cut back to lose his defender in the box.
The Mexicans with the result surged to the top of the six team standing with six points as reward for their first victory of the round. Jamaica however remained rooted to the bottom of the group on two points.
Coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore naturally was disappointed with the result but is looking for his team to remain focussed heading into the next game against the United States on Friday.
The Reggae Boys will have a light training session this afternoon as they turn the focus to the clash against the Americans.
The Mexicans in the meantime are heading off this morning for Panama City where they will tackle Panama in a top of the table affair on Friday at the Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez Stadium.
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