Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Jamaica...0

Canada...2

Prince (18th), Leon (90+2)

Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz dreams of an historic Olympic Games qualification is all but up in smoke, as they suffered a 0-2 defeat to Canada in their first-leg playoff encounter at the National Stadium on Friday. 

Goals from Nichelle Prince in the 18th and the menacing Adriana Leon in the 90+2 minutes was enough to lift the Bev Priestman-coached reigning Olympic champions to a crucial advantage heading into Tuesday's second leg which will be played before a sold-out crowd at BMO Field in Toronto.

For Lorne Donaldson and his Girlz it will be a case of pulling off the improbable win in a hostile environment, if they are to progress.

The Girlz started out fairly disciplined, as they were quick on the ball and did well to contain Canada in the early exchanges. 

In fact, the Girlz looked more threatening in opening play, but their first real chance in the final third came from Deneisha Blackwood’s teasing 10th-minute free kick, which had to be mopped up by the Canadian defenders. 

Such was the Girlz discipline when they gradually gained the ascendancy that Canada was hardly allowed to play their usual fluent passing game to get into the final third.

Instead, they were on the back foot and almost found themselves a goal down in the 14th minute. This, as Jody Brown was sent on the break by Atlanta Primus, but the diminutive forward’s shot was charged down by a defender. 

All the Reggae Girlz hard work was undone in the 18th when poor positioning by Blackwood allowed Ashley Lawrence to slip further down the right channel and deliver a weighted cross, which was expertly headed in by Prince, giving Rebecca Spencer no chance at a save.

Still, the Girlz fought on and again went close in the 29th courtesy of Brown, who orchestrated a tidy build up and picked out Cheyna Matthews on the left, but the run amounted to nothing.

Matthews again went on the break five minutes later, as she shook her defender and should have initially struck a left footer, but was hesitant in doing so. When she belatedly got a shot off her favoured right foot, her marker had already recovered and averted the danger.

Though the score remained unchanged at half-time, the Jamaicans seemingly failed to recover from the manner in which they ended the first half. A defensive lapse immediately on the resumption allowed Leon through on goal and it took a tidy save from Spencer to deny her.

Canada again went close from the resulting corner with Prince's effort from the top of the 18-yard box rattling the crossbar. 

By virtue of pushing a high line in their probe for the equalizer, the Girlz absorbed some amount of pressure from Canada's break, as Leon got by Konya Plummer a couple of times but found Spencer in her way.

The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper did her utmost best to keep the Girlz in the game as she was again called upon when Cloe Lacasse got away down the left channel in the 64th and struck a left-footed effort which Spencer had to parry at her near post.

The Girlz had their best chance of the second half a minute later when substitute Tiffany Cameron’s shot from a rebound went just over the crossbar, after Khadija “Bunny” Shaw's initial effort was thwarted by Vanessa Gilles. 

But just when the moderate turnout in the stadium may have harboured a glimmer of hope that the Girlz would pull one back, Leon broke their hearts with a cheeky finish at Spencer’s near post from a Julia Grosso cross to put Canada 2-0 up.

Despite being down, the Jamaicans continued the push to at least reduce the deficit, but when Plummer fired a tame left-footed effort straight at Canada’s goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, deep inside added time, it all but summed up their lukewarm evening.

Teams: Jamaica -Rebecca Spencer, Allyson Swaby, Konya Plummer, Tiernny Wiltshire, Deneisha Blackwood, Vyan Sampson, Drew Spence, Jody Brown (Solai Washington 55th), Atlanta Primus (Kayla McKenna 71st), Cheyna Matthews (Tiffany Cameron 55th), Khadija Shaw

Subs not used: Sydney Schneider, Liya Brooks, Sashana Campbell, Chantelle Swaby, Kameron Simmonds, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Trudi Carter, Shaneil Buckley, Paige Bailey-Gayle

Booked: None

Canada -Kailen Sheridan, Sydney Collins, Kadeisha Buchanan, Rebecca Quinn, Ashley Lawrence (Gabby Carle 82nd), Vanessa Gilles, Nichelle Prince (Jordyn Huitema 64th), Jessie Fleming (Julia Grosso 79th), Adriana Leon, Cloe Lacasse, Jade Rose (Shelina Zadorsky 79th)

Subs not used: Lysianne Proulx, Sabrina D'Angelo, Olivia Smith, Marie-Yasmine Alidou, Evelyne Viens, Christine Sinclair, Simi Awujo, Bianca St-Georges 

Booked: Gillies (54th), Grosso (90+5)

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Assistant referees: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA); Felisha Mariscal (USA)

Fourth official: Natalie Simon (USA)

Match Commissary: Techell McLean (SKN)

After switching allegiance from Canada to Jamaica, Tiffany Cameron will play against her birth country in one of the most important fixtures of her career.

Cameron, who earns her Jamaican stripes through her parents Yvonne Brown and Donovan Cameron, represented Canada at the Under-17 level and then played six friendly contests with the senior team, before making a switch from the Canucks to the Reggae Girlz in 2019.

While it is not her first time playing against Canada since her switch, the significance of this two-leg Olympic qualifying playoff, is such that Cameron’s sentimental attachment to her birth country and former team, is almost non-existent.

In fact, Cameron is buzzing with excitement ahead of the opening fixture scheduled for later this evening inside the National Stadium at 7:00pm, and moreso about her return to the BMO Field in Toronto where the second-leg will be contested before a sold-out crowd on September 26.

“The last senior international cap I had with Canada was on June 2, 2013, against United States at BMO. We lost that game 0-3 and I haven’t played on the BMO Field since. So, it will be extra special for me to go back there now representing Jamaica,” Cameron told Sportsmax.tv.

“Situations like these don’t happen often, so I’m excited. I’m ready to give my best and I think it will be a competitive match,” she added.

The two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup representative, who has enjoyed a decorated career spanning 14 years to date, recently inked a deal with Liga F outfit, Real Betis, where she hopes to again put her versatility on display, much like she did with the Reggae Girlz at the global showpiece in Australia.

Simply put, Cameron, though at age 31, is still very much in her prime and has a real hard desire to work hard and improve her craft, especially now in a country where she enjoys their brand of football.

“I think it (Real Betis) is a great fit for me because I enjoy combinational play and playing with players that express themselves and make football an enjoyable sport to watch. Playing in Spain will improve my decision making overall, as the speed of play in Spain is ranked one of the highest in the world.  I have settled in well so far and I am very much looking forward to my time with the club,” she shared.

But, for now, Cameron is solely focused on assisting her Reggae Girlz team in their bid to once again rewrite the history books by being the first Caribbean team to qualify for women’s football at the Olympic Games.

The Reggae Girlz, are coming off a confident run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where they finished second in Group F, holding top 10-ranked teams France and Brazil to goalless stalemates, complemented by a 1-0 victory over Panama, before losing 0-1 to Colombia in the Round of 16.

It was the first time since 1938 that a Caribbean team –male or female –contested the knockout stages at the global showpiece and the Girlz have a chance to build on that momentum.

“We are all proud of what we were able to accomplish at the World Cup and I think those accomplishments have given us a boost in confidence going into these games against Canada. We want to continue to make Jamaica proud and will give our best,” Cameron declared.

“We know what’s at stake in these games, so we will go into these games with a similar mentality as the World Cup. The opportunity to continue to make history is a blessing within itself and we won’t be taking that for granted,” she noted.

A win and a draw against 10th-ranked Canadians would be good enough to not only book the 37th-ranked Jamaicans one of 12 spots at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, but also a spot in the group stages of the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, alongside United States.

Both Jamaica and Canada are in this position after placing second and third at last year’s Concacaf Women’s Championships in Mexico. United States, by virtue of topping the tournament, earned automatic qualification to both the Olympic Games and the Gold Cup.

Like many of her teammates, Cameron knows all too well that another history-making feat would add further impetus to not only their status, but to women’s football in the Caribbean on a whole.

“It would mean a lot to us to be able to make history and be the first Caribbean team to qualify for women's football at the Olympics. The more successful we are, the more hope we will give to the younger generation in the Caribbean,” Cameron ended.

In their past nine meetings with Canada, Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz have lost every match by a combined score of 60-1.

But Head coach Lorne Donaldson doesn’t need a statistics lesson to know that his ever-improving Reggae Girlz team faces a stern examination of their history-making credentials, as they seek to end a winless run against the formidable reigning Olympic champions in an important assignment.

Donaldson’s side ranked at 37th and the number 10-ranked Canadians lock horns in the first of their two-leg Olympic qualifying playoff at the National Stadium on Friday at 7:00pm Jamaica time, with both aiming to draw first blood and, by extension, put themselves in pole position to secure a berth to next year's Olympic Games in France.

The second leg is scheduled for September 26 at a sold-out BMO Field in Toronto.

While acknowledging the daunting nature of their task against the three-time Olympic medallists, Donaldson is hoping the Reggae Girlz can turn in an efficient performance in their bid to defy the odds and their doubters on local soil.

“Canada is the Olympic champion, they have won a lot of stuff, we haven’t proven anything yet so they have a right to be favourite. So we have to be good, we have to play really well to beat the Olympic champions,” Donaldson told Sportsmax.tv.

“We’re ready for a tough battle and it will take its own course, I’m sure. it’s a pretty important game to both teams so we just want to come out and play hard…as hard as we can and see what we can get out of it. That’s our aim, to come out and play as hard and be very effective in what we are trying to do,” he added.

The Reggae Girlz, who are coming off a confident run at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, where they finished second in Group F, holding top 10-ranked teams France and Brazil to goalless stalemates, complemented by a 1-0 victory over Panama, before losing 0-1 to Colombia in the Round of 16.

It was the first time since 1938 that a Caribbean team –male or female –contested the knockout stages at the global showpiece and the Girlz have a chance to not only build on that momentum, but also become the first Caribbean team to qualify for women’s football at the Olympics.

This, as Canada in seven matches so far this year, have registered two wins, one draw and four losses, scoring just five goals, while conceding a whopping 12.

But, even with that in mind, Donaldson maintains that his team will have to be at their best to achieve the intended results.

“We had a journey of all sorts, including the World Cup and those highs and lows prepares us for games like this. So it’s a challenge that we’re looking forward to and we have to try and score goals, it is as simple as that.

“We have to minimize what we give up because it’s a two-leg fixture, so we have to get a result from this leg and then go from there. So yeah, we’re going to have to be in top form to get a result,” Donaldson reasoned.

Though he has 20 players from his World Cup squad, led by 2022 Concacaf Women's Player of the Year and a finalist for this year's Ballon d'Or, Khadija “Bunny” Shaw in camp, Donaldson pointed out the decision on a starting team remains up in the air, as a few players are nursing niggles.

However, he expressed pleasure with what was displayed during three full sessions, all focused on their tactical approach.

“The first session was lively; the second one was a bit sub-par, but the players regained some tempo for the last session because they know the objective and I am sure they are shooting for it.

“Everything has been focused on tactics and what we want to do, which is to go in and get a result. So, we are just taking it in stride honour anything we need to honour, and try to finish up on a good note,” the tactician said.

Meanwhile, Canada’s head coach Bev Priestman will have 19 of the 23 players, who were part of her World Cup roster, including captain Christine Sinclair and a trio of Chelsea players — workhorse midfielder Jessie Fleming and defenders Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence.

Notable absences from that group are now-retired veteran midfielder Sophie Schmidt, as well as fullback Allysha Chapman, who is out for personal reasons. Fullback Jayde Riviere and forward Deanne Rose were originally named to the roster but will miss the qualifiers due to injuries.

Still, Priestman said her team is ready and raring to go.

“We all are itching to get back on the pitch and we want nothing more than to start our journey to the Olympic Games through these playoffs,” Priestman noted.

“We know it will be a tough challenge in front of us and it won’t be easy, but we are ready to rise to that challenge, the group feels fresh and excited, and we’re ready to go,” she added.

 

Former champions Kingston College and Calabar continued their upward trend in Group A of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup, as both registered 2-0 and 3-0 victories over Camperdown and Charlie Smith respectively at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Both Kingston College and Calabar, who lost their opening contests, have rebounded nicely with these being their second win on the trot in a competitive group that is expected to go down to the wire for the top two positions.

In the opening contest, Alex Hislop (fourth) and Kelvin Brown (65th) got the job done for Kingston College over Camperdown, while Javel Watson (20th), Fitzroy McLeod (79th) and Kimani Thompson (90+2), were on target for Calabar in the feature encounter.

With the win, both Calabar and Kingston College moved to six points, along with leader Hydel, who hammered Penwood 10-0 in their fixture. Charlie Smith remains in fourth on three points, with Camperdown and Penwood yet to put a point on the board.

After Hislop fired Kingston College in front, the tempo of the young North Street-based team dropped significantly but picked up when the game resumed from a short break due to severe weather conditions.

Kingston College should have added a second from the penalty spot, but Dejuan Green tried to be too fancy and hit the 12-yard kick wide, as the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The purples continued their dominant show on the resumption and though Camperdown tried to play their game, the failed to really trouble Dominic Robinson in goal for Kingston College.

Vassell Reynolds’s side eventually added to their tally when Brown waltzed his way around three defenders before finishing a right-footer with aplomb to seal the win.

Though not impressed, Reynolds welcomed the improved second half display and, by extension, the win.

“I think we rose to the occasion; it is still a work in progress, but the youngsters are learning very quickly. I am pretty satisfied with how they recovered from the first half. I thought the break helped us really, we were giving away possession of the ball and we lacked the composure in the first half, but they came out and equipped themselves in the second half,” Reynolds said in his post-game assessment.

His counterpart Lebert Halliman cited indiscipline for his team’s defeat, their second of the season. They also have against Hydel in which they are down 0-5 to be completed.

“Indiscipline is why I took off my captain because he wasn’t playing his role. But overall, I think the team did well, it’s a young team and a long season, so it’s a learning process for them,” Halliman said.

The feature contest was much more eventful, as both Charlie Smith and Calabar were evenly matched for the most parts.

Both displayed individual flair and some colorful plays in patches, but it was Calabar that proved the most clinical in the end.

The Andrew Price-conditioned Calabar opened the scoring in the 20th minute when an unmarked Watson, easily headed home at close range from a Jaheim Rankine cross.

They almost doubled the lead 12 minutes later, as Sheridan Wilson’s stinging right-footed shot from a distance had Deonte Gary, in goal for Charlie Smith beaten, but the effort came back off the crossbar.

With no changes to the scoreline at the break, Charlie Smith showed more purpose on the resumption in their hunt for the equalizer. However, they not only found themselves with a numerical disadvantage when they lost Gary to straight red in the 61st minute for stomping on an opponent, but they also found themselves with a two-goal deficit to make up.

This, as Anthony McDonald’s weighted free kick found McLeod, who made no mistakes.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Thompson rubbed salt on an already wounded Charlie Smith with an easy close range finish in time added.

Wednesday’s results

Zone A

Kingston College 2, Camperdown 0

Charlie Smith 0, Calabar 3

Penwood 0, Hydel High 10

Zone B

Meadowbrook 3, Cumberland 2

Jamaica College 3, Spanish Town 0

Zone D

Excelsior 7, Cedar Grove 1

Bridgeport 2, Clan Carthy 1

Zone E

St Catherine 7, Edith Dalton James 0

Innswood 2, Holy Trinity 0

Mona 9, St Mary’s College 1

 

Christopher Samuda knows sport is so much more than a game. He knows it inspires collaboration and teamwork, increases confidence, reduces stress and improves mental health.

It is with that in mind, that the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president considers the $25 million allotted to the Reggae Girlz as a small token to positively impact their journey to compete, as they again seek to rewrite the history books.

The Girlz, who will lock horns with Canada in a two-leg Olympic Qualifying playoff at the National Stadium on Friday, and again in Toronto, next Tuesday, are hoping to become the first Caribbean country to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games.

And if the Girlz required any further inspiration to secure positive results against the reigning Olympic champions, they would have taken it from the JOA’s support, which is in collaboration with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Bob Marley Foundation, as $15 million goes directly to the programme, with the remaining $10 million to be paid out as player incentives.

Those incentives include bonuses for goals scored, assists made, clean sheets, and team prizes for Olympic qualification.

According to Samuda, the funding and, in particular, the incentive is to alleviate whatever pressure the Girlz may feel approaching this, another significant hurdle, along their path to success.

“The JOA’s investment of $25 million is not by coincidence, we understand that the infrastructures for the talent of sport, the aspirations of our athletes and our footballers, must be funded if we are to achieve the results that we so desire. The Reggae Girlz are ready to write and dramatize another chapter in the history of football in qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris.

“They're ready to raise the curtain and to give a command performance. They're ready for the road, for destiny shall arrive on the 22nd at the National Stadium,” Samuda told Sportsmax.tv.

As it has been from the onset, Samuda again reminded Jamaicans that the Girlz accomplishments at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in July, is a source of national pride.

For as much as the Girlz gave when they held top-ranked France and Brazil to goalless stalemates, followed by a 1-0 win over Panama on their way to being the first Caribbean team –male of female –to contest the knockouts since Cuba in 1938, Samuda believes a little love from Jamaican supporters would be a mere drop in the bucket to repay the players’ efforts.

“What the Reggae Girlz need from Jamaica is solidarity and love, sweet love, and they want it in the National Stadium. Our Job is to be with the Reggae Girlz on the 22nd. The business of sport is that job in respect of which we are given a line of credit to make meaningful and profitable lives being lived in sport and to earn dividends for sport and a nation,” Samuda said.

“But in all cases of credit, there is payback time. The Reggae Girlz have gifted us very creditable performances, they have given us credit and now it is payback time. So, on the 22nd bring your wallet, bring your purse, bring your safety deposit box and support the Girlz. There must be a pilgrimage to the National Stadium on the 22nd,” he added.

On that note, Samuda declared his association’s long-term commitment of our resources, focus and energy to help break down barriers that not only limit access to sport, but also hinder the growth of sport locally.

“The JOA continues to be driven to use sport in giving our sportsmen and women a sense of purpose and being. Sport for all, all for sport, continues to motivate us in affording all sport opportunities for growth and development. For we, the JOA, we have a business contract with our member associations and federations to fuel current hopes to ignite tomorrow's ambition to inflame every aspirational talent in any and every sport to be and to become an Olympian, not only in performance, but more importantly in character,” Samuda asserted.

“As a local apex governing body for Olympic sports, we also have a business contract with the people of Jamaica to build a nation in sport and among all of us, the Reggae Girlz, fans, stakeholders, there is a social contract to make legendary the contribution of the sport of football to the fabric, to the soul and to the spirit of Jamaica,” he ended.

After being re-elected president of Jamaica Squash Association, Karen Anderson is intent on building on the platform laid from her previous term to ensure the continued growth and development of the sport locally.

Anderson, who took the reins of the sporting body last year, was returned for second one-year term which she said represents an opportunity to achieve certain personal ambitions and, by extension, bring visions for the sports progression, to fruition.

To that end, she hopes to finish the governance process of a name change, among other things by mid-2024, as well as to possibly hire a Technical director to assist in the country’s competitiveness at various tournaments.

“As you know, a few years ago all sporting bodies were encouraged to become charitable entities, which is an arduous process and it's also quite expensive, so we had put off for quite a while. But part of my mandate and my manifesto was to do that aspect of it, to become a charitable entity,” Anderson told Sportsmax.tv.

“So, the first resolution spoke to the association becoming a charitable entity; the second one spoke to a name change from Jamaica Squash Association to Jamaica Squash Limited trading as Jamaica Squash and then the third one was to the approval of current constitution of Jamaica's Association subsumed by Articles of Incorporation, which is what governs charitable bodies. So, all of the resolutions were passed and passed unanimously,” she added.

While Anderson reveled in the success of the country’s junior and senior teams at their respective Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) tournament recently, she noted areas in which the country can improve to become more formidable on the regional stage and the appointment of a technical director, she believes is a key component.

“Based on some of the things we saw last year, we added a strength and conditioning coach as a fitness element. All of the juniors and seniors worked with this strength and conditioning coach to get them up to standard and we saw a marked improvement in that and that's something that we're actually going to continue to do,” Anderson shared.

“We have also seen the success of other Caribbean countries that have technical directors and that’s a significant way to increase our competitiveness within the region. We haven't identified the person yet because we need to identify the money first, but we believe that we can turn some of our silver and bronze medals into gold and maybe start to contend and be part of the top two in the region.

“As I've said to the players, if we can't compete and be competitive in this region which is the Caribbean region, then there's no point even trying to take it outside of the Caribbean. Because you need to be able to do it at home first and home for me is the Caribbean. So, that's really where we're looking. It's expensive, but we believe that is direction that we have to go in,” she reasoned.

That said, Anderson, a former National and Caribbean singles champion, pointed out that starting a school programme is also high on her agenda to not only widen the sport’s reach but also the pool from which players are selected for national duties.

“Currently, if you can hit the ball you almost can he selected. We want the kids to fight for a spot so that they become more competitive and learn how to win. So those are the areas that we're going to focus on to improve on some of those results. I would also love to be able to host a Professional Squash tournament attracting the world’s best players to play in Jamaica,” she declared.

Anderson’s executive committee includes Joey Levy, vice president, Gill Binnie, secretary and Deanne Pryce, treasurer. Committee

members are Douglas Beckford, Nathlee Boreland, and Tahjia Lumley.

Former champions Glenmuir High maintained a positive start to the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup season, as they outclassed last year’s beaten finalist Central High in a come-from-behind 5-1 win in what turned out to be a lopsided encounter at the former’s base on Saturday.

Nyron Allen (15th), Kyle Gordon (31st), Deandre Johnson (48th), Tajaun Cummings (52nd) and substitute Derrick Henry (69th), were on target for the Andrew Peart-coached Glenmuir side, after James Gallimore gave Central High an 11th-minute lead.

Peart welcomed the win, which was his team second on the trot, putting them in firm control of Zone L on six points.

“The result is very important at this group stage, especially also due to the fact that both teams had some level of success last season so there were a lot of talk around the town about who would win, and we came out on top,” he said in a post-match interview.

“We are just training hard and always seeking to improve, last year we laid down some foundations and we have built on them so far. So there is no pressure, I am just looking at what is in front of me, the players that are in front of me and the direction we want to take the school in,” Peart added.

With Glenmuir being gradually slow to settle, Central capitalised and grabbed the early ascendancy when James dyer sidewined his way between two defenders before playing a pass off to Gallimore, who made no mistakes from close range.

However, their lead was short-lived, as captain Gordon dispossessed a defender and found an unmarked Allen, who fired a firm right-footed effort past Davone Robinson in goal for Central.

Glenmuir suffered a setback as they lost last season’s standout player after he picked up what appeared to be a broken arm in the 25th minute. Watson tallied 17 goals and nine assist last season.

Still, Glenmuir pressed on and found the lead just past the half-hour mark when Gordon converted from the penalty spot, after Johnson was felled inside the danger area by Robinson, to put Glenmuir 2-1 up at the break.

They wasted little time to pick up where they left off on the resumption and extended the lead three minutes in when a defensive mix up, allowed Johnson to arrive on the ball and head past Robinson for his second goal of the season.

And Cummings put further daylight between Glenmuir and Central with a cool, calm and collected finish over a well-advanced Robinson, who was left in no man’s land.

Though Central tried to play their game and had a few openings from which they could have narrowed the gap, Justin Murray, in goal for Glenmuir was not for beating.

While Central’s hunt was fruitless, Glenmuir helped themselves to a fifth, as Allan slipped two defenders, before passing to Henry, who slotted home from deep inside the 18-yard box.

A disappointed Jermaine Douglas of Central High felt his team lost their composure after finding the lead.

“I thought we were playing well in the first 15 to 20 minutes, but my concern was always scoring first and then becoming complacent, it's something we try to guard against but that is exactly what happened. I don’t think we should have lost by this margin we got some chances that we didn’t put away, but such is football,” he said.

The result leaves Central pointless, while the other group contest between Porus and Old Harbour was called off due to bad weather with the latter leading 5-0.

 

Saturday’s results

Zone A

Cornwall College 0, Irwin High 0

Maldon 4, Green Pond 0

Spot Valley 2, St James 1

Zone D

Mannings 1, Petersfield 0

Zone I

Tacky High 3, Horace Clarke 3

Wycliff Martin 1, St Mary Technical 1

Zone J

Dinthill 6, Ewarton 0

McGrath 1. Enid Bennett 0

Zone K

Yallahs 6, Robert Lightbourne 0

Morant Bay High 1, Paul Bogle 0

Zone L

Glenmuir High 5, Central High 1

Porus 0, Old Harbour 5 (Game called off due to lightning)

Zone M

Kemps Hill 0, Vere Technical 2

Garvey Maceo 8, Tacius Golding 0

Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd failed to make an impression in the women’s shot put, as American Chase Ealy continued her superb vein of form to claim the Diamond League title in Meet Record style at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday.

While Thomas-Dodd struggled from the start and eventually placed sixth with a best throw of 19.17m, which came on her penultimate attempt, Ealy, the World Champion had no such issues.

The American on her third attempt, launched the instrument to a National Record, Meet Record and World Leading mark of 20.76m.

That throw bettered the previous World lead of 20.45m set by her compatriot Maggie Ewen in May, as well as the previous Meet record of 20.15m, set by New Zealand’s Valerie Adams in 2013. The previous American record was 20.63m set by Michelle carter in 2016.

Meanwhile, Canada’s World Championship bronze medallist Sarah Mitton was second with a best throw of 19.94, while Auriol Dongmo (19.92m) of Portugal was third.

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson produced her usual strong finish to be crowned Diamond League champion in the women’s 100m, while compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah continues to upgrade with a season’s best time for third at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday.

Like the men’s event, the women’s dash was just as explosive, with Jackson, the World Championships silver medallists, registering her first 100m victory over American World Champion Sha’Carri Richardson to end that chapter of her season on a high.

Jackson, who is also favoured for the 200m crown, clocked 10.70s with a storming finish from lane six, as she swept by the fast-starting Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who clocked a season’s best equaling 10.75s.

Double Olympic champion Thompson-Herah once again demonstrated that she is gradually overcoming her struggles with injuries with a season’s best 10,79s.

Richardson was fifth in 10.80s, while another Jamaican Natasha Morrison clocked a big personal best 10.85s in sixth.

American Christian Coleman followed up his 9.83-second clocking in Xiamen with a similar performance at the Prefontaine Classic to claim the men’s 100m Diamond League crown in Eugene on Saturday.

It was always expected to be a breathtaking dash and despite Ackeem Blake’s false-start disqualification, the event lived up to its hype with Coleman’s time, like it did in China, again equalled the world lead of 9.83s, which was first set by Noah Lyles in August.

Lyles the World Champion, closed fast for second in 9.85s, while Kenya’s Omanyala Ferdinand was third with a similar time of 9.85s.

Jamaican Kishane Thompson, 22, in his first real competitive season got out well but faded into fourth in 9.87s. Another Jamaican Yohan Blake was sixth in 10.08s.

Reigning champions Jamaica College had their progress halted by bad weather conditions, as they were well on their way to a second-consecutive victory in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Friday.

Giovanni Taylor’s hat-trick had the “Dark Blues” 3-0 up against Cumberland High when the game was called off after 25 minutes due to rain and lightning. The fixture will be competed on a date to be decided.

That postponement resulted in Kingston Technical provisionally assuming pole position in Group B on six points, following their 4-0 beating of Meadowbrook High, who are current fifth on a point.

Meanwhile, third-placed Spanish Town High (two points) and fourth-placed Tivoli High (one point), played out a 2-2 stalemate in the other group b contest.

Despite the slight setback where their schedule is concerned, Jamaica College’s assistant coach Raymond “Stampie” Watson, pointed out that they remain on course to achieving their objective.  

“We are getting there. So far, we are looking positive, and the players are enjoying themselves, but this is the first round, and we are looking to be in it at the backend of the season where title contention is concerned so we continue to put in the work,” Watson told Sportsmax.tv.

Elsewhere in Group E, St Catherine High made it two-in-two with a 10-0 blanking of St Mary’s College, while last year’s semi-finalist Mona High, also secured a second win on the trot, with a 5-0 whipping of Innswood High.

Fourth-placed Norman Manley got their first points on the board, as they clipped Holy Trinity High 1-0.

Friday's results

Group B

Jamaica College 3, Cumberland 0 (Game called off due to inclement weather)

Tivoli High 2, Spanish Town 2

Kingston Technical 4, Meadowbrook 0

Group E

St Catherine 10, St Mary’s College 0

Mona High 5, Innswood High 0

Holy Trinity 0, Norman Manley 1

Saturday’s games

Group A

Penwood High vs Charlie Smith @ Maverley Football Field

Hydel High vs Camperdown @ Royal Lakes

Kingston College vs Calabar @ Stadium East

Group D

Clan Carthy vs STATHS @ Alpha Academy

Cedar Grove Academy vs Bridgeport @ Cedar Grove Academy

Excelsior High vs Tarrant @ Excelsior

Group F

Ardenne High vs Waterford @ Ardenne

Campion College vs St George’s College @ Campion College

Pembroke Hall vs Jose Marti @ Pembroke Hall

Group G

Donald Quarrie vs Ascot High @ Harbour View Mini Stadium

St Jago vs Wolmer’s Boys @ St Jago

Vauxhall High vs Papine High @ Vauxhall High

*All games are scheduled for 3:30pm.

 

 

Having had a successful run at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia, senior Reggae Girlz Head coach Lorne Donaldson says it comes as no surprise that a number of players recently landed contracts in top leagues, and hopes the experience gained so far will serve them well in their upcoming fixtures.

Donaldson, who maintained the majority of his World Cup squad for the two-leg Olympic Qualifying playoff fixtures against Canada on September 22 on home soil and September 26 in Toronto, pointed out that the aim is always to get players into contracts that not only benefit them, but also the women’s programme.

Subsequent to their history-making run to the Round of 16 at the global showpiece, standout defender Allyson Swaby, Trudi Carter, Tiernny Wiltshire, Konya Plummer and Deneisha Blackwood, all inked new deals.

Swaby, 26, signed with Italian club AC Milan until 2026, for what will be her second stint in the women’s Serie A, having previously represented AS Roma. Right-back Wiltshire signed with French Division one team Stade De Reims.

Carter, who also had a stint with AS Roma which was derailed by injury, joined Mexican club Atletico San Luis, while Blackwood and Plummer are also plying their trade in Mexico with Pumas Unam and Tigres Uanl, respectively.

“It’s a part of our objective to ensure that our players are playing in some of the best leagues around the world and it is important that the upcoming players see that Jamaicans can get contracts in top leagues, so we love to see that,” Donaldson told Sportsmax.tv.

“One of our main aims from we joined the programme is to get these Girlz in different parts of the world so they can make a living playing football and also help the programme and we have achieved that to an extent, so the coaching staff is very happy,” he added.

For the upcoming games, Donaldson have left out World Cup debutants Peyton McNamara and Kalyssa Van Zanten due to school obligations, while the experienced Havana Solaun is said to be unavailable.

As a result, Olufolasade Adamolekun, who has been in good knick in recent times and the versatile Sashana “Pete” Campbell, who was a World Cup alternate, comes in.

The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz, who held France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and secured their first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 scoreline over Panama became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockouts of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Now they are on the hunt to rewrite the history books, as a victory and a draw against Canada would see the Jamaicans being the first Caribbean nation to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games. It would also secure them the second automatic spot for the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, alongside United States.

The loser will drop into a women’s Gold Cup qualifying Group A, which includes Panama and Guatemala. They would play home and away games against these two teams starting October 25, with an away game in Panama.

“I’m sure the players are going to come in confident that they have a chance to get a result, so it is for us now to just come in and see what everybody looks like fitness wise and then we go from there. We expect the players to come in with some enthusiasm, it’s not the World Cup, so it’s a different approach to ensure we give it our best to get a result,” Donaldson shared.

“Once I get the best out of the Girlz then I would be happy and proud and if qualification comes with it then even better, but I am not too concerned about the historic aspect of it. We just want to keep moving forward towards building a strong and sustainable women’s football programme. It makes no sense we talk about history if the necessary support isn’t behind it,” the tactician noted.

That said, Donaldson expressed optimism that the Girlz will get a good turnout to start what should be two tough assignments against the reigning Olympic Champions who are out to prove a point after their early World Cup exit.

“They (Canada) are the defending champion so we expect them to be competitive as they will want to defend their crown. They didn’t perform so well at the World Cup, so this will be there shot at redemption, and they will have a point to prove. As you can see the game in Canada is already sold out, so everybody is behind them and they have a lot of support,” Donaldson assessed.

“People in Jamaica aren’t necessarily behind football, but they like to talk football. At the World Cup we got the support from the Australian crowd but in Jamaica you can’t even get a percentage of that.

“I’m sure the players are hopeful that the fans show up because when they get to Canada it’s going to be a full stadium of over 40,000, so hopefully we can get some people in the stands and get some support that the Girlz deserve,” he ended.

Donaldson and his team will assemble in Jamaica on September 19.

Tickets for all the games came be purchased at www.caribtix.com or www.jff.football.

Squad: Sydney Schneider, Rebecca Spencer, Liya Brooks, Allyson Swaby, Chantelle Swaby, Konya Plummer, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire, Tiffany Cameron, Vyan Sampson, Drew Spence, Atlanta Primus, Khadija Shaw, Jody Brown, Solai Washington, Kameron Simmonds, Trudi Carter, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Cheyna Matthews, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Kayla McKenna, Sashana Campbell

 

There is something about the power of crowds, particularly when it comes to sporting events. Not only does spectator support at sports events impacts performance and enjoyment, but it also creates an atmosphere where a mutual sense of pride is felt by both players and supporters.

Crowd support provides a boost of confidence which can help players to make better decisions and even motivate them to play their best game.

If you don’t believe it, ask Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and captain Andre Blake about the significance of spectator support at their two Concacaf Nations League games at the National Stadium.

Though the venue was nowhere close to being filled at capacity, the sizeable crowd that turned out was vocal enough to provide a much-needed impetus which saw the Boyz to a 1-0 win over Honduras on Friday, followed by a come-from-behind 2-2 stalemate with Haiti on Tuesday.

“Yeah, I mean, I did an interview earlier where I think we were talking about how important the fans are, you know, them being loud and supporting us, you know, give us that extra energy that extra motivation that we're always going to need. It also makes the away team uncomfortable, and they stayed with us the entire time and that kind of showed that, we were playing well, and we were giving them something to cheer for definitely because we have to do our job,” Blake told journalists in a post-game interview.

“So, we did our job, you know, they stayed with us. Unfortunately, we weren't able to give them three points tonight (Tuesday). But the point is always better none and again to really fight back from two-zero down, you have to give the guys some credit, and thanks to the fans for coming out and being loud tonight,” the Philadelphia Union shot stopper added.

Iceland-born tactician Hallgrimsson echoed similar sentiments.

“If I might add to that end, to have the support of the people, I know you're opinionated and even though we were two-zero down, we really felt the support from the people and we appreciate that. It was lovely for a foreigner to be here and feel the support from the people,” he said.

While the Boyz home fixtures are now done and dusted, the assertion of both Blake and Hallgrimsson has swung the door open on debates about whether or not the history-making Reggae Girlz will get a similar or even greater support when they engage Canada in their Olympic qualifying playoff fixture at the National Stadium on September 22.

In fact, the second-leg of the qualifying playoff scheduled for September 26 in Toronto, Canada, has already been sold out, prompting a rally cry from Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda for Jamaicans to make their presence felt.

Samuda pointed out that the now 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz, deserve every bit of support, as they seek to add to their exploits at the Fifa Women’s World Cup where they held France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and secured their first ever World Cup win with a 1-0 scoreline over Panama.

Though they lost their Round of 16 contest to Colombia, merely progressing to that stage was an overachievement by the Jamaicans, as they became the first Caribbean nation –male or female – to play in the knockouts of the World Cup, since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

Now they are on the hunt to rewrite the history books, as a victory and a draw against Canada would see the Jamaicans being the first Caribbean nation to qualify for women's football at the Olympic Games. It would also secure them the second automatic spot for the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, alongside United States.

With that in mind, Samuda urged spectators to turn out in their droves at the National Stadium and provide that feeling of over-stimulation and ripples of noise and colour to fuel the Girlz quest.

“History is at the feet of our Reggae Girlz in these Olympic Games qualifiers and we must give them every support and empower them to write another pioneering chapter in the sport,” Samuda told Sportsmax.tv.

“On the 22nd Jamaican massive must turn out to the National Stadium in our black, green and gold and make a statement that will electrify the Girlz to conquer and give them that confidence and inspiration to seal the deal in Toronto on the second leg.

“Already the second leg in Toronto is sold out, so the Kingston game must sell off in sending off the Girlz in royal style. Jamaica, let us grasp this moment in our nation’s life and live it to the fullest. Our Girlz are deserving and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, awaits their arrival,” he added.

Faced with the challenge of establishing a winning culture, Reggae Boyz Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson insists that he is trying to do so in ways large and small. Though his plans, where delivering according to expectations are yet to really take flight, the Icelandic coach remains adamant that his brand is becoming increasingly evident on the Boyz since he took the reins late last year.

 For Hallgrimsson, the manner in which the Boyz have started their Concacaf Nations League campaign, is an extension of their Gold Cup semi-final run, and that, he believes represents a step in the right direction.

The 58th-ranked Boyz currently head Group B on four points in League A competition, as they registered a 1-0 win over Honduras last Friday, followed by a come-from-behind 2-2 stalemate with Haiti at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

“Everybody has their opinion, and I cannot control what people feel about the team. The only thing I can say is that we will continue to work, and we will try to improve. We all see football in a different way, with different eyes how we want football to be played, but we are trying to develop our game and that's the only thing we can do. We will continue to do what we have been trying to do,” Hallgrimsson declared.

Having stressed that his is a culture that is about improvement, Hallgrimsson expressed pleasure with the Boyz display against Haiti when compared to that against Honduras.

In that opener against Honduras, the Boyz looked scrappy when in possession, as their passing and, by extension, movements off the ball was woefully lacking and it took Demarai Gray’s solitary goal to spare their blushes.

While the Boyz looked much better in their attacking transition against Haiti, they were sloppy defensively and that resulted in the opponents taking and early two goal lead courtesy of Don Louicius, who struck in the 12th and 15th minutes. However, Hallgrimsson’s side rescued a point through a 51st-minute own-goal and Bobby Reid’s 81st minute penalty.

“If we compare these two performances, we did much better this game than against Honduras, so we need to be pleased that we are going at least in the right direction, even though we didn't win today (Tuesday). I thought we had a much better game, even though we won against Honduras,” Hallgrimsson shared during a post-game press conference.

He continued: “If we look at the results, I think it is good that we did not lose this game, and performance wise, I would say, even at two-zero, I felt that we were better team in that moment. So, it (falling behind) was kind of a slap in the face and if we take away those two, three mistakes, we didn't give them chances. I think we played a really a good game.

“But a coach is always most pleased with the character and togetherness that they showed to win this game. They fought until the end, we wanted to win…I think everybody saw that we wanted to win, we pushed for the win. So, I'm mostly pleased with the character in the team, we stood our ground and I like that we played in a high tempo like that as well and we should build on this performance in my opinion.”

That said, Hallgrimsson pointed out that with the core of his team now identified, the expectation is that the Boyz hustle and competitiveness will remain on the upgrade, especially as they hunt qualification for next year’s 48th edition of the prestigious Copa America to be staged in the United States.

Their next assignments will be away to Grenada on October 12, before visiting Haiti in the Dominican Republic on October 15.

To get to the Copa America, the Jamaicans are required to finish in the top six, as such, they will need to secure one of two spots from their group to progress to quarter-finals.

Should they do so and go on to win their quarter-finals fixture, the Boyz would automatically secure berth to Copa America. However, if not, then they would take the playoff route for a second shot at qualification.

“We're always looking to improve, I said it in the last press conference, we're happy with what we have, but we're always looking out for improvements in every area of our game for players but also how we play, or we work together etc.

“So, we just have to improve how we do things and do as much as we can. We try to analyze the opponent where the weakness is, and I felt we had a chance to punish them better than we did. But the only way you can improve your conversion rate is to train it day after day,” the tactician ended.

Jamaica...2
Ade (51st OG), Reid (81st)
 
Haiti...2
Louicius(12th, 15th)
 
Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz maintained their positive start to the Concacaf Nations League, but did so the hard way, as they had to come from behind to secure a 2-2 stalemate with Haiti at the National Stadium on Tuesday. 
 
A 51st-minute own-goal by Ricardo Ade and Bobby Reid's 81st-minute penalty, rescued a point for the Reggae Boyz, after Don Louicius's first half brace in the 12th and 15th minutes.
 
With the point, the Jamaicans remain in pole position to complete a top two finish in Group B of League A, as they sit on four points, same as Cuba, who edged Suriname 1-0 in their contest. Haiti inched up to two points in third followed Grenada and Suriname on one point each, but that was expected to change at the end of the game day, as Honduras were leading Grenada 1-0 in the late group fixture.
 
Following their win against Honduras last week, Heimir Hallgrimsson's side would have been confident of securing another three points and they started more purposefully which all but signalled their intent.
 
They fired a warning shot in the second minute through Kasey Palmer, whose left-footed shot was parried by Jhony Placide who got down well to his right in goal for Haiti. The resulting corner presented another opportunity, but Shemar Nicholson steered his header wide of the target.
 
However, the Jamaicans had the wind knock from them as it was the Haitians that broke the deadlock against the run of play, courtesy of Louicius with his first senior goal. The player sporting the number 11 jersey, shook a challenge from Damion Lowe and later fired past Andre Blake. 
 
Before the Boyz could recover, they found themselves further behind when Mondy Prunier orchestrated a counterattack and played a pass on a platter for Louicius to capitalise on some lacklustre defending by the Jamaicans as he fired home beating Blake all ends up.
 
Jamaicans continued to press and created a few openings from which they should have at least pulled on back, but faulty shooting and a lack of composure proved their undoing.
 
The best of those chances came on the stroke of half-time when Nicholson found himself in on goal but drove his right-footer wide of the target, as Haiti remained 2-0 up at the break.
 
With the lead in their favour, the Haitians came out spiritedly on the resumption and Louicius tested Blake with a left-footed strike from a distance, but the custodian got down well to gather.
 
The Jamaicans needing a saviour  gradually came to life in attack and like it was in their opening contest against Honduras, Gray came to their rescue, albeit fortuitously, as his soft effort along the ground was deflected in by Ade.
 
Nicholson should have pulled the Boyz level in the 54th from a break. However, he was hesitant in getting the shot off from close range and was later dispossessed by a recovering defender.
 
Though on the backfoot, the Haitians didn't just merely absorb pressure, they continued the probe to add to their tally and almost did so on the hour mark when Prunier again played provider, this time to Danley Jean, whose firm eft-footer from just inside the 18-yard box, rattled the crossbar.
 
The Jamaicans responded two minutes later and almost pulled level when Kasey Palmer's shot from the top of the 18-yard box and was just kept out by Placide.
 
It was an intriguing end-to-end battle at that point as Haiti went on the counter a minute later, Prunier dismissed his marker, but couldn't get beyond Blake, who left his line well in a one-on-one situation. 
 
After applying consistent pressure coupled with a few timely substitutions, the Jamaicans eventually pulled level when Reid fired home from the penalty spot, after one of those substitutes, Romario Williams's shit was handled inside the danger area.
 
The Jamaicans thought they had all three points in the bag in the dying moments of the contest when Reid's well-struck shot from a distance had goal written all over it, but for a well-timed dive from Placide, who ensured Gabriel Pellegrino's team held on for a share of the spoils.
 
The teams will now head into the break before the return leg fixtures in October. 
 
Teams: Jamaica -Andre Blake, Damion Lowe (Dishon Bernard 74th), Amari'i Bell, Ethan Pinnock, Javain Brown, Leon Bailey, Bobby Reid, Demarai Gray (Dujuan Richards 74th), Joel Latibeaudiere (Daniel Johnson 74th), Kasey Palmer, Shemar Nicholson (Romario Williams 79th)
 
Subs not used: Jahmali Waite, Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Kevon Lambert, Demario Phillips, Adrian Mariappa, Renaldo Cephas, Gregory Leigh, Tayvon Gray, Kevon Lambert
 
Booked: Bernard (83rd), Johnson (90+3)
 
Haiti -Jhony Placide, Ricardo Ade, Djimy-Alexis, Garven-Michee Metusala, Alex Christian, Jeppe Friborg, Danley Jean (Francois Dulysse 87th), Carl Sainte, Don Louicius (Shaynder Borgelain 70th), Steven Seance, Mondy Prunier
 
Subs not used: Alexandre Pierre, Garrisone Innocent, Derrick Etienne Jr, Jayro Jean
 
Booked: Sainte (30th), Djimy-Alexis (63rd, 90th(red), Jean (80th), Ade (80th)
 
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant referees: Alberto Morin (MEX); Marco Bisguerra (MEX)
Fourth official: Enrique Santander (MEX)
Match Commissary: Egbert Lacle (ARU)
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