Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:18 am Post subject: Boyz rally for 1-1 draw against Costa Rica
|Los Ticos hold dominant Ja in friendly
Ian Burnett, Sports Editor
Thursday, February 07, 2008
ON a day when the nation celebrated the birth date of reggae icon Bob Marley, 'One Love' would have been an ideal score.
But that was not to be and for the Reggae Boyz and the many thousands of spectators who journeyed to the National Stadium
for their clash with Costa Rica yesterday, they had to settle for a come-from-behind 1-1 result with the Central Americans.
The game was the first for the returning technical director, Rene Simoes, and after last night's display, he must be quite confident
that he has the tools at his disposal to seriously challenge for one of the three-and-a-half CONCACAF places up for grabs for the
2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa.
Such was the dominance of the Reggae Boyz in the contest that this writer tallied a total of 16 shots, eight of which were on
target, as against just four shots (one on target) for the opposition.
Playing in front of a full house, the Reggae Boyz made their intentions known from early, bombarding the visitors' defensive
area but failing to find the target. They went close on the quarter hour mark when a good, patient build-up on the right side ended with midfielder Jason Morrison skying Tyrone Marshall's right-sided cross.
Marlon King, who was returning to the Reggae Boyz outfit after a near two-year absence due to a ban imposed by the previous Jamaica Football Federation administration, could have made a grand re-entry, had he not booted high over the horizontal after being released with a superb through pass by the overlapping Marshall.
So superior were the Boyz that goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts had nothing to fear until midway the first half when the Ticos had their first effort at goal, and it was not even on target.
The visitors almost paid the ultimate price immediately after threatening Ricketts' goal, as Demar Phillips, the former Waterhouse utility player now parading his skills at Stoke City in England, nearly brought the house down when his well-executed bicycle kick from a Gardner left-sided cross smashed against goalkeeper Ricardo Gonzalez's left-hand post, as the bewildered 'keeper looked on helplessly.
Jamaica continued where they left off by forcing the Costa Ricans on the back foot early in the second half, as Phillips, a real livewire, had a rasping left-footer from inside the penalty area that forced Gonzalez to block for a corner. Moments later Rudolph Austin, renowned for his thunderous right foot, gave Simoes a peek of the arsenal at his disposal, when he drove a missile-like pile driver from over 30 metres, which Gonzalez did well to parry.
The onslaught was unending and with barely an hour gone, King should have done better after entertaining the crowd with an enterprising give-and-go combination with Gardner. However, after being released behind the defence inside the penalty box, his feeble effort rolled gently into the accepting arms of Gonzalez.
The visitors were forced to play on the counter attack and they realised their first shot in the second half with 20 minutes remaining in the game, and like in the first half, that one was also off target. But it was a sign to the Jamaican defenders, who must have felt that they would not have experienced an easier time at the office.
With all their attacking play, the home side went behind two minutes from the end when substitute William Sunsing broke free of Jamaica's pair of central defenders - Ian Goodison and Damion Stewart - who were appealing for a non-existent off-side call.
The dreadlocked striker calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Ricketts to silence the crowd. It was not what the Boyz nor the crowd deserved. It was the Ticos' first shot on target.
The Boyz persevered and exhibited a never-say-die attitude and were duly rewarded in time added when King, the usual scorer of goals, provided a perfectly-weighted cross from the right for Marshall to soar above his markers and head powerfully into the goal.
Justice seemed to have been served, but the Boyz had a glorious chance to steal the show in the five minutes of added time when substitute Wolry Wolfe neatly slipped behind the defence, but watched in disappointment as his weaker right-footed shot sailed wide of the target.
At the end, the Boyz - clearly the better team on the day - had to settle for much less than what they deserved.
Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Damion Stewart, Ricardo Gardner, Tyrone Marshall, Rudolph Austin, Jason Morrison Omar Daley 61st), Demar Phillips (Wolry Wolfe 80th), Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Ricardo Fuller (Roen Nelson 85th), Marlon King.
Subs not used: Duwayne Kerr, Adrian Reid, Shavar Thomas, Nicholy Finlayson, Lance Laing
Costa Rica - Ricardo Gonzalez, Victor Cardero, Jervis Drummond, Andres Nunes, Walter Centeno (Douglas Sequeira 71st), Junior Diaz, Pablo Chinchilla, Carlos Hernandez (Oscar Rojas 54th, Victor Nunes 66th), Randal Azofeifa, Bryan Ruiz (Ronald Gomez 66th), Alvaro Saborio (William Sunsing 76th).
Subs not used: Alvaro Mesen, Michael Umana, Leonardo Gonzalez, Cristian Montero
Booked: Sunsing (90th +), Diaz (90th +),
Referee: Neil Brizan (T&T)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Thorbourne & Stephen Brown (JA)
Fourth Official: Kevin Morrison (JA)
Match Commissary: Charles Barrett (JA)