Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:04 am Post subject: Boyz fend off El Salvador
|BY SEAN A WILLIAMS Asssistant Sports Editor
Sunday, July 27, 2008
DALLAS, USA - Though it was not an aesthically beautiful game, Jamaica's Reggae Boyz exhibited grit in fending off a spirited El Salvador in their friendly international which ended 0-0 at the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco here yesterday.
Apart from providing exposure to a number of players, the game was an audition of sorts as technical director Rene Simoes continues his search for his final squad for the upcoming CONCACAF semi-final World Cup qualifying campaign which begins next month with a game against Canada.
Though the Boyz were at first defensively tentative, they were early out of the blocks on the attacking front in the second minute with a textbook passing game which started in their half of the pitch, and in the final phase of it, Ricardo Cousins cleverly released an overlapping left-back Obrian Woodbine, but his cross to Wolry Wolfe was kicked high.
El Salvador, ranked 117th in the world by FIFA, were not to be outdone and responded in kind in the fourth minute. Replicating the Boyz' earlier attacking move, the El Salvadorans found their into their opponents goal area but Salvador Coreas 22-yard strike flew high over Donovan Ricketts' goal.
Adding to their established attacking flow, the Central Americans were again knocking on Jamaica's door when Shawn Martin's right-sided cross found an open Alfredo Pacheo at the far post, but the El Salvador skipper got little purchase on the shot to the relief of Ricketts.
In the 28th minute, Jamaica captain and team veteran Andy Williams, who only returned to the team earlier this year after a three-year absence, tried a cheeky, lofted ball after spotting goalkeeper Miguel Montes off his line but the effort was marginally off target.
In the 34th minute Jermaine Taylor had to stretchered off after a clash of heads with teammate Wolry Wolfe as both went for high ball into the area in a clear case of poor communication.
But on the positive flip side of that, the resulting two-minute stoppage gave the other players a well-needed water break and a snap meeting with coach Rene Simoes on the sidelines after soaking up some 25 minutes of El Salvadoran pressure.
Shortly after and against the balance of play, Colorado Rapids' Omar Cummings artistically slipped his marker and got his face to goal, but the striker opted to pass the ball to well-placed Cousins, but the latter's low drive was blocked by a sturdy El Salvador defensive wall.
The second half started pretty much the same as first with the El Salvadorans getting behind the defence with little resistance, and were it not for faulty shooting on their part, and in a number of cases, good goalkeeping by Ricketts, the tale would have read differently.
But Cummings, in his first game as a senior for Jamaica, got a glorious opportunity to put Jamaica ahead in the 64th but side-footed the ball to Montes in goal.
The Boyz, in the final 20 minute or so, saw a lift in their game with the introduction of fresh legs, and had fair chances in the 75th and 76th minutes through debutant Jevaughn Watson and Cummings respectively. This game is likely the last for both nations ahead of their opening CONCACAF semi-final World Cup qualifying tournament starting next month. Jamaica will tackle Canada on August 20 in Toronto, while El Salvador face CONCACAF powerhouse Costa Rica on the same day.
Jamaica, ranked 94th in the world, have been pitted in Group B of the tournament alongside other stubborn opposition in Mexico and Honduras, while El Salvador will have to face-off against Suriname and Haiti. The other CONCACAF group will see the USA, Trinidad, Guatemala and Cuba doing battle. The two top finishers from each group will advance to the final group of six.
Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Jermaine Taylor, Adrian Reid, Obrian Woodbine, Lance Laing (Keammar Daley 86th), Andy Williams (Kavin Bryan 75th), Evan Taylor, Wolry Wolfe (Eric Vernan 70th), Keneil Moodie, Ricardo Cousins (Javaughn Watson 58th), Omar Cummings.
Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Nathan Koo-Boothe, Hugh Howell, James Thomas, Javaughn Watson, John-Ross Doyley.
Booked: E Taylor (44th), Watson (70th)
El Salvador - Miguel Montes, Marvin Gonzalez (Oscar Jimenez 77th), Luis Anaya, Manuel Salazar, Shawn Martin, Afredo Pacheo, Ramon Sanchez, Salvador Coreas (Osdel Romero 66th), Christian Castillo (Ramon Flores 85th), Rudis Corrales, William Reyes (Rodolfo Zelaya 45th).
Subs not used: Juan Jose Gomez, Jonathan Barrios, Alexander Escobar, Jose Martinez, Emerson Villnius, Rolando Torres.