Magee wonder-goal earns young Reggae Boyz Mexico draw

By Sports Desk November 07, 2018

Jamaica’s young Reggae Boyz twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with traditional powerhouses Mexico, maintaining a perfect start to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

El Tricolor got goals from a Javain Brown (21st  OG) and a Jose Macias penalty conversion (66th ), while the Reggae Boyz were boosted by goals from Leonardo Jibbison (61st ) and Tyreek Magee (71st ).

The Caribbean team found themselves trailing after what had been an even first period when a cross into the area deflected into the back of the net off Brown, who had battled to clear his lines.

The Reggae Boyz would, however, restore parity midway the second half when Jibbison’s fierce strike from the top of area nestled into the corner of the net, giving Mexican custodian Carlos Higuera no chance. 

The Mexicans once again claimed the lead when Macias’ well-taken penalty beat Jamaica’s shot-stopper Jeadine White, after Diego Lainez was brought down in the area.  Another beauty, this time from Magee once again pulled the teams even.  Magee belted the ball high into the roof from 35 yards, after slithering into a pocket of space.

The result meant that both Jamaica and Mexico remain unbeaten in the group after three set of matches. The teams are locked on seven points apiece, but Mexico are leading the six-team table on goal difference.

Earlier, both Grenada and Nicaragua collected their first wins of the campaign.

Grenada downed Saint Martin 5-2, yet it was Saint Martin who struck early through Nolan Freyer (1st ) before Jesron Charles (21st , 27th ) bagged his brace.

 Rahim Stephen (30th , 66th ) had a brace of his own, sandwiching a Saint Martin goal from Isais Pagesy (56th ), and the fifth and final Grenada goal came via Dorrel Pierre in the 87th.

In a hard-fought battle in the group’s second game, goals in the 74th  and 79th  powered Nicaragua to a 2-1 win over Aruba. A Mark Jacobs own goal opened the scoring and it was soon 2-0 thanks to Alexander Caldera.

Aruba never threw in the towel though and a Keanu Maduro score in the 90+2’ provided hope, but Nicaragua held on to collect the three points.

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    Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz found Suriname at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, a tougher assignment than anticipated after they squeezed out a 2-1 victory.

    A header from Corey Burke in the seventh minute of play and a penalty from Darren Mattocks in the 16th minute threatened to start a rout. However, Donnegy Fer’s 37th minute tap in marked Suriname’s entrance into the game.

    While Jamaica would get a number of chances, to go further ahead, in truth, Suriname were dangerously close to equalizing on a number of occasions and could not be argued with if they believed they dropped at least two points from the game.

    Mattocks, while happy with the win, believes the Jamaicans, with himself the most at fault, need to be more clinical if they are to enjoy further success, especially with El Salvador waiting in their next fixture.

    “I’m disappointed in myself,” said Mattocks.

    “A player of my caliber should put away most of those chances but at the end of the day an ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” he said.

    “We’re just going to take the three points and move on and come ready for the next game.”

    Mattocks believes the game against El Salvador is going to be much tougher.

    “El Salvador is a very hostile environment so we have to go there really prepared,” he said.

    “We can’t have a performance like this against El Salvador,” he said.

    “We have to go back to the drawing board and these opportunities that we are creating we have to put them away,” he ended.

    Jamaica now have three wins from their three games with 12 goals for and one against.

    Their record is bettered by Haiti, who have the same number of wins but with 17 goals and one against, while Cuba have scored 14 goals without a response from their opponents.

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    Mancini criticised the fans and said there should never be a repeat when players are representing their nations.

    "It was a mistake for fans to be booing Bonucci," he told a news conference.

    "This is a type of protest that shouldn't happen when you're playing for the national team.

    "Hopefully it only lasted for 15 minutes but I repeat it shouldn't happen because when Italy is playing, the crowd should support the players."

    Italy will finish second in Group 3 of League A, with Portugal moving into the Nations League Finals.

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    Ronaldo, 33, last played for his nation at the World Cup in Russia, where they were eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16.

    Without him, Portugal have managed to reach the Nations League Finals, becoming the first side to qualify after Saturday's 0-0 draw with Italy in Milan.

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    Ronaldo is Portugal's all-time leader in both goals (85) and appearances (154), while only Iran's Ali Daei (109) has netted more times in internationals.

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