Reggae Boyz fight
Jamaica can all but kiss their chances of making World Cup Football 2014 in Brazil goodbye.
A home campaign that has gone horribly wrong saw Jamaica earn a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica at the National Stadium in Kingston last night but the stalemate drew them closer to elimination from the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying competition.
Randall Brenes, a 68th-minute substitute, handed Costa Rica the lead at the 68th minute with the assistance of some Jamaican generosity. In injury time, however, local hero Jermaine ‘Tuffy’ Anderson scored to level the match.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Jamaica coach Winfried Sch√fer. “Costa Rica are a very good team. At 1-0 down, I change team. The goalkeeper did well in the first half and not too well in the second half. We still have [a] chance. Next game is against US in US in a month’s time. We thank ‘Tuffy’.”
The point lifted Jamaica’s tally to four points. They are still bottom of the six-nation standings. The result took Costa Rica to second in the group on 15 points, and with Honduras drawing 2-2 at home to Panama, none of the other four teams in the group can push the leading duo out of the top three automatic qualifying spots.
Mexico, next to bottom in the six-team standings, have eight points, as do a Panama team that has never qualified for the sport’s biggest tournament.
Honduras currently occupy third place on 11 points but with two rounds of games to come in October, the battle for the final automatic spot and fourth-place, which offers a playoff against Oceania winners New Zealand, is set to go down to the wire.
In Ohio, second-half goals from Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan gave Juergen Klinsmann’s United States a 2-0 win over Mexico to move them to top of the standings on 16 points.
Nine teams have now joined Brazil in the draw for the finals with Italy and the Netherlands advancing from Europe along with Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea from Asia, Costa Rica and the U.S.A from the CONCACAF region, and South American giants Argentina. (Reuters)