Mexico City, Mexico – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz gave a disciplined performance to go into the half time break on level terms, 0-0, in their opening World Cup Final Round Qualifier against Mexico here at the Estadio Azteca.
As expected the host came out on the hunt for the opening goal, forcing the visitors back into their own half, but they found the gold and black-clad Jamaicans in a defiant mood.
In fact, the best chance of the half went the way of the Boyz, who hit the upright, then failed to turn home the rebound inside the opening 10 minutes.
The gigantic Azteca almost went silent when Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson stole possession and relayed a pass to Garath McCleary on the right.
The Reading FC wide man wasted no time in centering for his club captain, Jobi McAnuff, who placed the ball cheekily outside the reach of goalkeeper Jesus Corona, but the right upright came to his rescue.
McAnuff was quick to the rebound, but when he seemed almost certain to score, Corona reacted magnificently to parry away, much to the relief of the partisan crowd and the chagrin of the few spectators, including the National Under-20 team.
On the quarter hour Giovani Dos Santos tested Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts with a rasping drive, after curving inside from the right.
Moments later after Jamaica failed to clear their defensive lines, Ricketts had to be alert again to block at his near post.
The Mexicans, dressed in white shirts and shorts and red stockings, were caught out yet again on the half hour mark, but McCleary’s superb lobbed pass inside the penalty area, was just missed by the onrushing Ryan Johnson.
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