Wednesday, November 18, 2015
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz breathed life into their CONCACAF Russia 2018 World Cup campaign with a workmanlike 1-0 win over hosts Haiti at the Stade Sylvio Cator last night. Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson, in his first start for Jamaica, but his second game, scored the all-important goal in the 63rd minute.
|Jamaica’s goalkeeper coach and former Reggae Boyz|
Captain Warren Barrett (second right) congratulates
goalkeeper Andre Blake as teammates congratulate
each other at the end of last night World Cup
Qualifier against Haiti. (PHOTOS: GARFIELD ROBINSON)
It was three points the Jamaicans desperately needed after suffering a 0-2 defeat to Panama at the National Stadium in Kingston on Friday. Jamaica have now moved to three points in the Group B standing, while Haiti remained at the bottom without a point, having lost both games.
Panama and Costa Rica, who were scheduled for a game in Panama City last night, came into yesterday’s fourth-round contest with three points each. But it was a disciplined performance by the Jamaicans, looking solid in defence, gritty in midfield, and efficient in their transition into offence.
Kemar Lawrence, in particular, was a standout — showing great anticipation in mopping up when the Haitians found a way through. But he was not the only one, all players rose to the occasion and, again, the Boyz proved that they have the resolve to bounce back when their backs are against the wall.
Jamaica suffered a scare in the 11th minute when Donaldson tumbled to the turf in a heap when he and Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide and a defender challenged for an aerial ball. After attention from the sidelines, the bustling frontman was back on his feet and thrown right back into battle.
|Jobi McAnuff (left) of Jamaica being challenged by Haiti’s|
Sony Norde (centre) and teammate Kim Jaggy.
But Haiti were a threat from the first whistle, with speedy runs down the middle, and they also used the flanks to good effect, but Jamaica’s rear guard kept its shape and firm resolve. In the 17th minute Max Hilaire threatened when he fired low past Andre Blake’s upright, and the alert Jamaica goalkeeper scrambled across to make sure the danger went away from his goal.
Haiti were on the hunt three minutes later when Jeff Louis’ looping shot forced Blake into a high-rise save, getting only fingertips, it seems, to tip the ball over. Jamaica were busy at the other end with some enterprising, eye-catching even, passing.
In one of those sequences in minute 36, Demar Phillips, Je-Vaughn Watson and Donaldson combined well out left, but Watson’s low shot was handled by Placide in goal. A minute later, the left flank was the scene of another Jamaican conspiracy with Phillips, Lawrence and Jobi McAnuff, but the latter’s shot was tame in the end. more