Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz secured a spot in the next round of the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship following a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday.

Goals from Zion Scarlett and Jahmari Clarke, on either side of half-time, ensured that the team would at least finish third in Group H and condemned their Caribbean neighbours to a winless goalless campaign.

That does not mean that the Jamaicans had things all their own way, with Antigua and Barbuda showing plenty of fighting spirit, and goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke doing his best to keep the Reggae Boyz at bay.  There was very little to be done when Scarlett was given too much time in the area and spun away from the attending defender to find plenty of space to put the ball wide of a stranded Boyce-Clarke in the 41st minute.

With the Antiguans failing to find a way to get back on level terms Clarke made full points for the Jamaicans safe in the 81st minute from the penalty spot after substitute Tyler Roberts was brought down in the area by Antigua defender Dajun Barthley.  Barthley was later ejected from the game by referee Rubiel Vázquez after reviewing the VAR system.  The Jamaicans will now face Haiti on Sunday in Tegucigalpa.

 Jamaica U-20 Reggae Boyz coach Marcel Gayle expects a rapid bounce back from the team on the back of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of hosts Honduras in the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship on Monday.

The highly one-side affair left the Jamaicans third in group H, with one game remaining against Antigua and Barbuda.  With three teams advancing from the four-team group, however, the team remains in contention to secure a place in the next round if they can secure a point against Antigua.

“We know what is expected of us, so we just want to go out there and express ourselves again.  We realise it’s a must-win situation and we are looking to go out there all guns blazing to represent the nation,” Gayle said of the upcoming fixture on Wednesday.

“Everyone is disappointed, the boys are disappointed but they are young so they will get over it…we’ll come again.  We’ll take heart from the game.  We’re still in it, so I just have to encourage the guys to come again, so, you can look forward to greater things.”

With the win Honduras moved to the top of the group with 6 points, followed by Costa Rica on 4 and Jamaica on 1.  Antigua and Barbuda are yet to secure a win.

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