Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz and Mexico were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after a feisty 1-1 draw in group A of the Concacaf Nations League Group A on Tuesday at the National Stadium.

The Mexicans began the game in an enterprising fashion and almost took the lead minutes after the kick-off.  A sweeping attacking move ended with Santiago Gimenez being brilliantly thwarted by Jamaica custodian Andre Blake who snuffed out the 2nd-minute attempt no more than four yards away from goal.

It was the Jamaicans who, however, took the lead, against the run of play, through a sweeping move of their own, punctuated in the 7th minute by a bullet-header from Leon Bailey, who was picked out in the box by Shamar Nicholson.

 Nicholson almost got on the scoresheet himself five minutes later but his towering header, after rising from a corner, crashed on to to the top of the crossbar.

After continuing to dominate the majority of the play, the visitors seemed set to end the half empty-handed but got some reward for their enterprise in time added on.

Luis Romo brought the team back on level terms after beating the Jamaican backline to a ball whipped into the area and heading past Blake just before the whistle.

In an entertaining second half, Nicholson almost restored the Jamaican's lead but saw his chip to goal cleared off the line by two Mexican defenders after successfully dinking the ball over the head of onrushing Mexican keeper Rodolfo Cota, after being played through on goal by Bailey.

The visitors, however, had plenty of attempts of their own, and Blake was kept busy, most notably diving full stretch to parry a fierce drive on goal from livewire Diego Lanez in the 68th minute.

With the result the Jamaicans remain at the top of the group on 5 points, while Mexico picks up their first point of the competition, joining Suriname on 1.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors secured a 2-0 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines as Group C action continued in the Concacaf Nations League B at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Friday.

Defender Neveal Hackshaw, who represents USL Championship club Indy Eleven, opened the scoring in the 17th minute before AEK Athens winger Levi Garcia got the second and final goal for T&T.

Trinidad and Tobago are now second in Group C with six points after three games, one behind Nicaragua who moved to seven points after securing a 2-0 win over the Bahamas at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau.

El Salvador got a late goal from Cristian Gil to rescue a 2-2 draw with Grenada in Group D of League A of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League on Tuesday night at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium in St. George’s, Grenada.

Just like in their first encounter on Saturday, a 3-1 El Salvador win, the two sides would trade goals in quick succession in the first half.

This time it was Grenada breaking the deadlock in the 29’ when Jacob Berkeley Agyepong pounced on a deflected ball in the El Salvador area and fired into the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

But six minutes later in the 35’, El Salvador was on level terms, 1-1, when Nelson Bonilla was fouled in the Grenada area and Alexander Larin calmly converted the spot kick.

When it comes to the CNL for Grenada, no player delivers more in the big spot than Jamal Charles and the star striker would score his seventh career CNL goal for the Spice Boyz in the 54’ when he got behind the El Salvador defence and hammered in a right-footed shot to give his side a 2-1 advantage.

El Salvador looked to respond right away but they had to wait until the waning minutes for the 2-2 equalizer to come.

In the 88’, Darwin Ceren lofted a pass to Roberto Molina, whose shot was initially blocked by Grenada GK Jason Belfon, but Gil swooped in and scored to earn a precious point.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Suriname in group A of the Concacaf Nation’s League at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

After a fairly even opening stanza, which saw Suriname slightly shade the scoring chances, it was Derby County midfielder Ravel Morrison who gave the Jamaicans the lead, with an inch-perfect free-kick, in the 16th minute.

Plucky Panama, however, mounted an almost immediate response and were back on level terms five minutes later.  The speedy Yanic Wildschut, who was played in over the top, from just over the half-line, left a flat-footed Jamaica defense trailing in his wake before blasting the ball wide of Jamaica custodian Amal Knight 6-yards away from goal.

The Reggae Boyz refused to be kept quiet and would take the lead again in the 43rd minute.  The influential Morrison would find himself involved again.  This time the midfielder showed off a silky touch to bring down a lofted pass into the area and played the ball back to Junior Flemmings, who drifted across the area before firing a shot that wrong-footed Suriname goalkeeper Warner Hahn.

The Jamaicans were a much more dominant unit in the second half and capped that advantage off with another goal in the 70th minute.  This time, Jamal Lowe was played through on goal by Shamar Nicholson, following Suriname’s loss of possession, and easily placed the ball wide of Hahn.

The win saw Jamaica move to the top of the three-team group A, after a 1-1 draw between the teams on Sunday.  Mexico, the other team in the group, are yet to play a match.

Head coach of the Jamaica Men’s National Football Team Paul Hall expects his Reggae Boyz to be better defensively in their return Concacaf Nations League contest against Suriname at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Both teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Flora Stadium in Paramaribo on Saturday after Junior Flemmings gave Jamaica the lead in the 39th minute before an Amal Knight own goal in the 84th meant the points were shared.

“We need to make more improvements defensively,” said Hall in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“I thought we gave them a little bit too much respect attacking us and allowed them to get through some shots at us which forced Amal (Knight) to make some really good saves, especially early on,” he added.

In the game on Saturday, the hosts were able to get off 10 shots, a statistic Hall says his team will need to bring down at home to secure the win.

“I’m looking for the boys to really make it a fortress at the back and just really focus on trying to be stingy with the number of efforts that we allow Suriname to make on us,” Hall said.

 Coach Hall also pleaded to the Jamaican supporters to make their presence felt at Tuesday's game.

"I want the supporters to come to the match tomorrow. I want them to show us that they're on our side. We need them to bring us over the line, we need that support," he said.

 

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz kicked off play in the Concacaf Nation’s League League A with a 1-1 draw away to Suriname on Saturday.

After a first that saw more clear chances being created by the hosts, it was the Jamaicans who took the lead through Toulouse FC forward Junior Flemming.  Flemming put the Jamaicans into the lead after swiveling onto a low cross played into the area and firing past Suriname goalkeeper Hahn Warner in the 39th minute.

Ironically, it was the Jamaicans who looked more likely to add to their lead in the second half but after missing a few early chances, found themselves pegged back late on.  Jamaica goalkeeper Amal Knight was credited with an own goal, after badly misjudging an 84th-minute corner that he punched into his own goal.

Former Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John has been appointed head coach of the St Lucia Senior Football team. The St Lucia Football Association confirmed the appointment on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have been confirmed to face South American giants Uruguay in a friendly international set for June 17.

The fixture will come during a busy period for the national team, ahead of preparations for the CONCACAF Nation’s League.  Prior to that, the team will be in action against the Spanish region Catalonia in another friendly international set for the 25th of May.

In five matches the Jamaicans have a losing record against Uruguay, managing just one win, which came in an international friendly in 2004.  The last time the teams met was in 2016 at the Copa América Centenario.  On that occasion, Uruguay coasted to a 3-0 win after both teams had already been mathematically eliminated from advancing to the next round of the tournament.

The Uruguayans will be using the fixture as part of preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which will get underway in Qatar at the end of the year.  The Reggae Boyz, who failed to qualify for the tournament, are currently ranked 64th in the World, while Uruguay are ranked 13th.

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