A late penalty from Jahmari Clarke saw Jamaica’s U-20 Reggae Boyz secure a 1-1 come-from-behind draw and share of the points against Costa Rica in Group D of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships, in Honduras, on Saturday.

After a scoreless first half, which saw both teams unable to take advantage of limited opportunities to find the back of the net, Dorian Rodríguez gave Costa Rica the advantage with a well-placed header in the 58th minute.

The Jamaicans missed a golden opportunity to get back on level terms when Julián González brought down livewire substitute Chad James in the area.  Duncan Mckenzie, however, missed the resulting penalty, with Costa Ria custodian Bayron Mora diving sharply to his left to stop the effort.

Los Ticos seemed destined for all three points but Andrey Salmerón’s 87th-minute shot came crashing back off the crossbar as the Jamaicans held on.  In a hefty chunk of time added on, however, Clarke was wrestled to the ground by Brandon Calderón for another penalty.  This time the forward did make use of the advantage, sending Mora the wrong way to bring the team back on level terms, only just seconds before the final whistle.

In the day’s other encounter, Cuba scored a 1-0 win over Canada in Group E.  Kevin Martín got the winning goal in the 42nd minute.

New Zealand head coach Danny Hay has slammed the refereeing as "absolutely atrocious" and says FIFA let them down in their 2022 World Cup playoff defeat to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

The All Whites missed out on World Cup qualification with a 1-0 loss to the Ticos in Doha in the inter-confederation playoff after Joel Campbell's third-minute goal.

New Zealand had a first-half Chris Wood goal controversially disallowed by the VAR along with a penalty shout turned down, while Kosta Barbarouses was sent off after video consultation in the 69th minute.

Hay lamented FIFA's decision to appoint UAE referee Mohammed Abdulla as well as his performance in the crucial game.

"They have let us down in putting somebody in charge who has clearly not officiated at this sort of level," Hay told reporters after the game.

"When we saw the announcement and then we looked at what Australia and Peru had last night with good, quality European officiating [Slovenian Slavko Vincic], I thought FIFA have made a mistake there in such an important game."

Hay added: "If I'm being honest. I thought some of the officiating was absolutely atrocious.

"The disallowed goal was two players battling for the ball. The foul could have gone to Matt Garbett to start with. Obviously VAR got involved and overturned that."

Veteran New Zealand defender Winston Reid, who previously played for West Ham United and Brentford, echoed his coach's sentiments.

"My general concern, I wish FIFA for a game like this would have given us someone more experienced. But that's the way it is," Reid told Sky TV.

"There were some decisions that just didn't go our way, unfortunately.

"But that's part of football and that's what happened today. It's just disappointing."

Costa Rica were outplayed by New Zealand in their inter-confederation World Cup play-off on Tuesday but clung on to a 1-0 advantage to reach Qatar 2022.

In a winner-takes-all match between the fourth-placed side in CONCACAF qualifying and the OFC stage winners, Joel Campbell struck the decisive goal after just three minutes.

The former Arsenal forward squeezed between two New Zealand defenders and bundled a first-time finish past Oli Sail.

Rather than tee up a straightforward Costa Rica victory, though, that goal preceded a sustained backs-to-the-wall effort as the All Whites dominated.

Chris Wood thought he had netted a precious equaliser late in the first half, only for a VAR review to spot a foul earlier in the move.

And another video referral in the second period saw substitute Kosta Barbarouses' lunge on Francisco Calvo upgraded from a yellow card to red, leaving New Zealand with a mountain to climb.

They continued to control the contest but could not score the leveller that would deny Costa Rica their place in Qatar, joining Spain, Japan and Germany in a tricky Group E.

Los Ticos – going to their sixth World Cup and third in a row – begin their campaign against Spain in Doha on November 23.

New Zealand head coach Danny Hay has urged his players to "seize the moment" by producing an upset against Costa Rica to claim the last remaining World Cup finals spot.

The two sides face off at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday for the right to return to Qatar later this year and join Germany, Japan and Spain in Group E.

A total of 31 countries have qualified for the global showpiece following Australia's penalty shoot-out win against Peru on Monday, leaving one place up for grabs.

New Zealand enter the intercontinental play-off clash as underdogs as they sit 101st in the latest FIFA rankings, 70 places below their Central American opponents.

The All Whites cruised through the extended qualifying process, racking up 5-0 and 7-1 wins along the way, but now face undoubtedly their toughest test yet in Costa Rica.

Whereas New Zealand have only ever qualified for two World Cups, and none since 2010, Costa Rica have qualified five times and are seeking a third straight finals appearance.

Hay's side are in a relaxed mood, though, with the 47-year-old glad that all the pressure is on the opposition.

"The world's media have basically written us off, given us no chance," Hay said at his pre-match news conference. "They're 31 in the world playing against 101 in the world. 

"I'm sleeping pretty well. I'm not sure their coach will be, though.

"We've got a great group. They're injury-free, they’re in a good space mentally, that’s why we need to seize the moment now. This really is our moment, this is our time."

New Zealand have been boosted by the return to fitness of captain Winston Reid, who had been struggling with a groin injury.

They have warmed up for Tuesday's match with a 1-0 defeat to Peru and goalless draw against Oman, both of those games being friendlies.

Costa Rica have lost just one of their past nine matches, meanwhile, but head coach Luis Fernandez Suarez is not taking New Zealand for granted.

"We'll make sure that the group is strong mentally," he said. "New Zealand are a team that like to make things dangerous. 

"They are a team that from the back with their goalkeeper almost always playing inside, from the beginning to the last third, with one of their advantages being aerial football.

"But for every situation or attack New Zealand present, we have prepared something to respond to it."

Hosts the Dominican Republic and Jamaica bowed out of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship on Wednesday as Mexico, United States, Canada and Puerto Rico sealed places in the final four.

Reigning champions, the USA blanked Jamaica 4-0 in the first game of the day played at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.

Amalia Villarreal scored her eighth goal of the tournament to open the scoring in the fourth minute for the winners who also got goals from Charlotte Kohler in the 32nd, Riley Jackson in the 42nd. Melina Rebimbas completed the scoring in the 56th.

Meanwhile, at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Mexico drubbed the host nation Dominican Republic, 10-0.

Tatiana Flores (16’, 33’, 41’) and Alice Soto (19’, 22’, 38’) each had a hat trick and were joined on the scoresheet by Maribel Flores (37’), Natalia Colin (49’), Deiry Ramirez (70’) and Layla Sirdah (80’).

The second game of the day at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez saw Puerto Rico meet El Salvador and in the end the spoils belonged to the Boricuas, 2-0.

Marilia Nieves-Melchor broke the deadlock in the 37’ for a 1-0 Puerto Rico lead, followed by Indigo Sims’ insurance score in the 65’ to complete the 2-0 scoreline.

Wrapping up the day at the Estadio Panamericano was Canada downing Costa Rica, 3-0.

It was a tight first half between the two teams, with each side getting good looks at goal.

However, the difference came in the second half beginning with Jaime Perrault’s goal in the 54’. Renee Watson doubled the advantage to 2-0 in the 66’ and then 2022 CWU17 leading scorer Rosa Maalouf scored her 10th goal of the tournament in the 70’ to seal the 3-0 triumph.

The field for the eight-team 2022 Concacaf W Championship is now set, as Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama clinched the final six berths following the results of the final matchday of W Qualifying on Tuesday.

Mexico are winners of Group A after downing Puerto Rico 6-0 at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca, Mexico. Jacqueline Ovalle’s brace (13’, 51’), along with goals from Katty Martinez (15’), Myra Delgadillo (19’), Diana Ordonez (55’) and Maria Sanchez (90+1’) sealed the win for El Tricolor.

In the day’s other game in Group A, Suriname claimed a 5-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda at the Frank Essen Stadion in Paramaribo, Suriname. Van Ommeren Ravelcheny (27’), Andaya Lantveld (34’), Katoucha Patra (36’), Rowena Ondaan (68’) and Pique Naomi (90+4’) scored for the hosts, while Kai Jacobs (84’) tallied Antigua and Barbuda’s lone goal.

Costa Rica emerged as the top team in Group B after defeating Guatemala 5-0 at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Priscila Chinchilla (5’, 64’) scored a pair of goals and was joined on the scoresheet by Maria Salas (29’), Cristin Granados (52’) and Shirley Cruz (85’).

Saint Kitts and Nevis finished their qualifying campaign in Group B with a third straight win in a 6-0 final versus US Virgin Islands at Warner Park Football Stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Phoenetia Browne bagged a brace (77’, 90+3’), while Ellie Stokes (21’), Cloey Uddenberg (51’), Caroline Springer (57’) and Jahzara Claxton (65’) added scores.

Jamaica gave the home fans at the Sabina Park Stadium in Kingston a smile, as the Reggae Girlz captured Group C with a 5-1 win over the Dominican Republic. Khadija Shaw (79’, 90+3’) led the way with a brace, while Jody Brown (16’), Trudi Carter (40’) and Tiffany Cameron (60’) all added goals. Kathrynn Gonzalez (24’) scored for the Dominican Republic.

Bermuda also ended Group C on a positive note thanks to a 6-0 win over Grenada at the Dame Flora Duffy National Sports Centre in Hamilton, Bermuda. Leilanni Nesbeth (10’, 56’, 73’) notched a hat trick, Nia Christopher (23’, 88’) had a brace and Victoria Davis (78’) added a goal for the hosts.

Panama clinched their spot in the W Championship by virtue of their 2-0 victory against El Salvador at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City to clinch Group D. Second half scores from Yerenis De Leon (65’) and Karla Riley (78’) lifted the Canaleras to the three points.

Belize were 3-0 winners over Barbados to wrap up their play in Group D at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador. Jayda Brown (55’, 90+4’) had a brace, while Shendra Casimiro (38’) also got on the scoresheet.

Haiti continued to flex their scoring muscles and posted a 6-0 win versus Cuba to claim Group E at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Roselord Borgella (53’, 74’) finished as qualifying’s joint-top scorer with 11 goals thanks to a brace, while Nerilia Mondesir (23’), Melchie Dumornay (64’), Batcheba Louis (72’) and a Yarisleidy Mena (88’) own goal paved the way.

Honduras completed qualifying in Group E with a 2-1 triumph over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Goals from Honduras players Kendra Haylock (26’) and Gabriela Garcia (53’) sandwiched Denella Creese’s (45+2’) score for Vincy Heat.

A late score from Lauryn Hutchinson earned Trinidad and Tobago a dramatic 2-2 draw with Guyana to take the top spot in Group F at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Trinidad and Tobago. It looked like a brace from Guyana’s Sydney Cummings (45’, 82’) would outweigh Asha James’ goal (48’), but Hutchinson’s score in the 90’ delivered the W Championship-clinching draw for Trinidad and Tobago.

Nicaragua also enjoyed a winning finish to Group F by defeating Dominica 10-0 at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol in Managua. W Qualifying joint-top scorer Yessenia Flores (11 goals) scored four goals (2’, 19’, 31’, 53’), while Lilieth Rivera (14’), Jaclyn Gilday (25’), Reyna Hernandez (49’), Nathaly Silva (58’), Yorcelly Humphreys (71’) and Martha Silva (87’) also chipped in with scores.

 

Mexico remained in first place in Group A thanks to an 11-0 win over Anguilla at the Raymond E. Guishard Stadium in The Valley, Anguilla as action resumed in the 2022 Concacaf W Championship Qualifying on Saturday.

Alicia Cervantes (3’, 9’, 56’) had a hat trick, Diana Ordonez (57’, 68’) and Katty Martinez (73’, 89’) each had braces, while Maricarmen Reyes (15’), Sandra Mayor (39’), Casandra Montero Rodriguez (52’) and Jimena Lopez (63’) added their names to the scoresheet for El Tricolor.

Costa Rica got a massive performance from star FW Raquel Rodriguez, who scored a hat trick to power the Ticas to a 4-0 win against Curacao in Group B at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Francisa in Willemstad, Curacao.

Rodriguez scored her goals in the 22’, 28’ and 64’, while Priscila Chinchilla chipped in with a score in the 57’ to give Costa Rica a three-point advantage in the group standings.

Laurie Batista was the hero on the day for Panama with a hat trick to help her side march past Aruba 9-0 in Group D at the F.F.B Football Field in Belmopan, Belize.

Batista scored in the 8’, 19’ and 45’, in addition to a Marta Cox brace (44’, 64’) and goals from Karla Riley (30’), Kenia Rangel (34’), Erika Hernandez (55’) and Gabriela Leonards (68’), keeping the Canaleras atop the group.

Table toppers Haiti flexed their scoring muscles in a 21-0 victory against the British Virgin Islands in Group E at the A.O Shirley Recreation Ground in Road Town, BVI.

Batcheba Louis (33’, 39’, 42’, 58’, 89’) had five goals, Roselord Borgella (4’, 21’, 22’, 45’) recorded four goals, Melchie Dumornay (6’, 11’, 32’), Roseline Eloissaint (63’, 73’, 79’) and Mikerline Saintfelix (84’, 87’, 90’) all notched hat tricks to go along with a Kara Lewis own goal (8’) and scores from Nerilia Mondesir (51’) and Kethna Louis (77’).

Trinidad and Tobago are now atop Group F after posting a 13-0 win versus Turks and Caicos Islands at the TCIFA National Academy in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

Chelcy Ralph (6’, 17’, 82’) tallied a hat trick, Karyn Forbes (33’, 45’), May Matouk (49’, 66’) and Raenah Campbell (72’, 86’) each had braces, while Lauryn Hutchinson, Cecily Stoute, Liana Hinds and Maria-Frances Serrant all joined in on the scoresheet in the win.

After failing to qualify in 2018, the United States secured automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday, despite a 2-0 loss away to Costa Rica.

Following their 5-1 win over Panama, the USA had a healthy enough goal difference to avert the inter-confederation playoff, with a three-point and 10-goal gap between them and Costa Rica coming into the final qualifier. 

In what was an intense start, Keylor Navas was on hand to deny the US in the eighth minute with a fantastic double save. Initially denying Miles Robinson with a reflex save from close range, the Paris Saint-Germain keeper then managed to stop the ball from trickling in following a USA corner.

The match tightened up significantly after that and the dead ball was the likeliest avenue to goal for both teams. The home side eventually broke the deadlock in the 51st minute through Juan Pablo Vargas, and doubled the margin eight minutes later from another set piece via Anthony Contreras.

Both sides finish the third round of CONCACAF qualifying on 25 points, but goal difference separates with the United States on +11 and Costa Rica on +5.

As a result, Los Ticos will face New Zealand in the inter-confederation playoff in June.

After failing to qualify for 2018, the United States secured automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday, despite a 2-0 loss away to Costa Rica.

Following their 5-1 win over Panama, the USA had a healthy enough goal difference to avert the inter-confederation playoff, with a three-point and 10-goal gap between them and Costa Rica coming into the final qualifier. 

In what was an intense start, Keylor Navas was on hand to deny the US in the eighth minute with a fantastic double effort. Initially denying Miles Robinson with a reflex save from close range, the Paris Saint-Germain keeper then managed to stop the ball from trickling in following a US corner.

The match tightened up significantly and the dead ball was the likeliest avenue to goal for both teams. The home side eventually broke the deadlock in the 51st minute through Juan Pablo Vargas, and doubled the margin eight minutes later from another set piece via Anthony Contreras.

Both sides finish the third round of CONCACAF qualifying on 25 points, but goal difference separates with the United States on +11 and Costa Rica on +5.

As a result, Los Ticos will face New Zealand in the inter-confederation playoff in June.

Christian Pulisic scored a hat-trick as the United States thrashed Panama 5-1 on Sunday to all but secure their place at the 2022 World Cup.

While still not officially assured of a spot in Qatar, only an implausible six-goal midweek defeat to Costa Rica would prevent Gregg Berhalter's side from returning to the tournament after missing out four years ago.

Costa Rica's 2-1 win in El Salvador earlier in the day meant USA were unable to join Canada in making absolutely sure of their qualification, though they went about their business professionally in Orlando.

Pulisic opened the scoring in the 17th minute from the spot after Anibal Godoy was penalised for grappling with Walker Zimmerman, and soon after it was 2-0 as Paul Arriola headed in Antonee Robinson's delivery.

Jesus Ferreira made it 3-0 just before the half-hour mark with a close-range finish and Pulisic ensured they went into the break four up thanks to his second penalty of the day – Godoy was again the guilty party, fouling Miles Robinson.

Pulisic completed his hat-trick in style with 65 minutes played, producing a lovely touch to turn and then convert, though a late Godoy consolation prevented Zack Steffen keeping a clean sheet.

USA need only a point on Wednesday to ensure they are in Friday's World Cup draw, though in reality they could lose 5-0 to fourth-placed Costa Rica and still qualify due to their superior goal difference.

A goal from Joel Campbell in the 62nd minute gave Costa Rica a critical 1-0 victory over Jamaica at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday night. The defeat effectively scuppers Jamaica’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

After a scoreless first half that saw Costa Rica GK Keylor Navas called into action several times, both teams dialled up more attacking postures in the second half.

In the 50th minute, Jamaica MF Devon Williams had an opportunity at the top of the box after a move down the right wing but sent his effort over Navas’ goal.

In the 61st minute, Jamaica’s stopper Andre Blake was given his turn to come through, with Kevin Stewart whistled for a penalty on Campbell. Veteran Costa Rica Celso Borges stepped up but was denied by Blake.

The celebrations on the Jamaica bench had barely concluded, however, when Campbell found the winner. Borges played a ball over the top to the 29-year-old attacker, and he took a touch with his left to move inside and beat Blake to his back post.

Jamaica manager Paul Hall modified his lineup in search of an equalizer, with one of the best chances coming in the 71st minute when Andre Gray narrowly missed a chance to apply a finishing touch to a cross toward the back post.

The Costa Rica win moves the Ticos within a point of the playoff position, pending later results.

When Costa Rica returns to action in the final window of qualification, it will host Canada, while Jamaica will be back in the National Stadium for a contest against El Salvador.

Mexico missed the chance to move up to second in the CONCACAF standings and firm up their grip on a 2022 World Cup qualification spot after an underwhelming 0-0 draw with Costa Rica on Sunday.

El Tri struck the woodwork twice in the second half from Luis Alberto Rodriguez and substitute Luis Romo's efforts, with Mexico unable to regularly test Ticos goalkeeper Keylor Navas despite their domination.

Mexico had 73 percent possession and 25 shots on goal, compared to Costa Rica's six, but the hosts only managed one on target with Navas saving Hector Herrera's 45th-minute free-kick, heaping more pressure on head coach Gerardo Martino.

Rogelio Funes Mori had a 31st-minute goal disallowed for offside, while Hirving Lozano returned from suspension but was wasteful with a handful of chances. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa denied Costa Rica's best chance from Celso Borges' 39th-minute header.

The result means Mexico, who have managed just four points from their past four qualifiers, remain third in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings, missing the chance to go past the United States, who lost 2-0 to leaders Canada.

Canada have 22 points from 10 games, with USA and Mexico second and third on 18 points each while Panama beat Jamaica 3-2 on Sunday to sit fourth on 17 points. The top three sides automatically qualify for Qatar, with fourth to face a playoff. Costa Rica kept alive their faint qualification hopes with the draw, sitting fifth with 13 points.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has expressed disappointment with the government’s decision not to allow fans to attend the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Mexico, and possibly Costa Rica.

The Reggae Boyz will return to action against El Tri on the 27th of January, in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium.  The team has played the majority of home matches so far with empty stands, impacted by the government’s Covid-19 management protocols.

The exception came against the United States in the last round, where up to 5,000 vaccinated fans were allowed to attend the fixture.  The JFF was hoping to have the same number of fans, if not more, but the recent increase of coronavirus cases, however, meant they had other ideas.

“Covid will be here if not forever, for a very long time so you just have to put things in place and figure out how best you are going to navigate this pandemic,” Ricketts said.

“We must live with Covid, so we must adhere to the protocols and be as careful as we can, but we must also understand that life goes on.”

The Reggae Boyz have been the only team in the octagonal round that has been affected so severely by coronavirus restrictions, with many other teams sticking to the practice of limiting the numbers of fans allowed at the venues.

Jamaica, however, has the lowest vaccination rate of all the countries participating in the qualifiers.

 

  

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will once again be without fans for upcoming home World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica as the government looks to put measures in place to combat the recent spike in coronavirus cases.

The country has played the majority of its matches behind closed doors, so far, with the lone exception being its last match against the United States, which allowed for 5000 vaccinated spectators to be present.

With 15 more COVID deaths, 1,548 new cases, and a positivity rate of 51.5 percent, as of Tuesday, however, the Government has decided to return to closed-door measures.  The Reggae Boyz have been the only team in the octagonal round that has been affected so severely by coronavirus restrictions, with many other teams sticking to the practice of limiting the numbers of fans allowed at the venues.

Jamaica, however, has the lowest vaccination rate of all the countries participating in the qualifiers with just 557,000 persons fully vaccinated, representing just 20.4 percent of the population.

The Reggae Boyz will be hoping to make a late run to book a place at this year’s FIFA World Cup having found themselves well off the pace midway through the qualifiers.  The team is currently 6th in the standings on 7 points, seven short of the final qualification spot.  The team will kick off the next round with a match against Mexico on January 27th, followed by a trip to Panama three days later and a home fixture against Costa Rica on January 30.

The United States came from behind to beat rivals Costa Rica 2-1 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Wednesday.

Sergino Dest scored a stunning goal as a youthful USA side overturned an early deficit to bounce back from their shock loss in Panama – the nation's first defeat during the 2022 qualifying campaign.

With an average age of 22 years and 229 days, USA's starting XI was the youngest fielded by the country in a World Cup qualifying fixture midweek.

USA faced an early test in Columbus after Keysher Fuller's volley found a way past goalkeeper Zack Steffen and into the back of the net in just the first minute.

A moment of brilliance from 20-year-old Dest restored parity for Gold Cup champions USA in the 25th minute – the Barcelona full-back drifted onto his left foot on the edge of the penalty area and fired a powerful strike into the top corner.

Gregg Berhalter's USA completed their comeback with 24 minutes remaining at Lower.com Field.

Costa Rica's Leonel Moreira – who replaced Keylor Navas at half-time – was unable to keep out Timothy Weah's shot at the near post.

USA moved level with arch-rivals Mexico on 11 points before El Tri face El Salvador on the road to Qatar 2022.

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