Jamaica’s 2018 World Cup horrors continue
Jamaica ended a wretched World Cup qualification campaign without a win on home soil following a 2-0 loss to Haiti at the National Stadium last night.
The result left the Reggae Boyz rooted to the bottom of Group B, finishing on an identical four points as the Haitian team, but behind on goal difference.
The home team was made to pay for failing to put away a number of early chances, striker Corey Burke one of the players given an opportunity to showcase his talent in the absence of several senior players, particularly culpable.
Haiti successfully blunted a Jamaican attack before counter attacking to devastating effect in the 68th minute. Kevin Lafrance finished off the sweeping move with clinical precision, firing hard and low to the left of Jamaica custodian Andre Blake to give the visitors the lead.
With the Jamaicans looking to pull level they were again caught light at the back as Duckens Nazón eluded the backline to finish off an 88th minute effort.
The result marked the first time in 40 years the Haitians had secured a win over their English-speaking neighbours. Costa Rica and Panama advanced from the group to the Hexagonal round.
Meanwhile, the United States are into the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia thanks to two goals from Jozy Altidore in a 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
The visitors had already qualified for the next round, but USA’s win at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, saw them finish top of Group C.
Sacha Kljestan and Paul Arriola also netted for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men.
Victo ry saw USA finish the fourth round on 13 points, two clear of Trinidad and Tobago.
Guatemala’s 9-3 victory over St Vincent and Grenadines meant nothing as they finished third.
USA had to wait until the 31st minute for their first real chance yesterday as an Altidore cross led to 17-year-old Christian Pulisic hitting the post.
As the hosts threatened again, midfielder Kljestan doubled the lead – blocking an attempted clearance before blasting a left-footed effort past goalkeeper Marvin Phillip and into the corner to make it 1-0.
The keeper ensured his team stayed in the match by blocking an Altidore shot from the top of the box.
The visitors had a 55th-minute chance through Kenwyne Jones, but he fired high and wide.
Altidore made it 2-0 soon after, taking a Fabian Johnson pass before sending his shot past Phillip for his 16th career goal in a World Cup qualifier – a national team record.
Pulisic set up Altidore for an easy finish before Arriola, a second-half substitute for Alejandro Bedoya, got his first qualifying goal in the 71st minute.
Altidore nearly completed his hat-trick, but he shot over in additional time.