Reggae Boyz beat Honduras 1-0

Thursday, February 16, 2017

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HOUSTON, Texas — Jamaica tagged Honduras 1-0 on a strike by Damion Lowe in the 71st minute in their friendly international inside the BBVA Compass Stadium here tonight.

Lowe scored within seconds on entering the pitch.

It was just reward for Jamaica, who, though second best in the first half, created much better chances in the second half to make the scoreline a lot more comfortable.

The Jamaicans came under pressure from the very first minute when debutant Kevon Lambert gifted away possession of the ball in the middle of the pitch and Rubilio Castillo gleefully accepted the ball and drove hard at goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, who could only turn behind for a corner.

The Central American champions proceeded to take control of midfield and created numerous forays into the Jamaican defensive third, but were kept at bay by stout defending.

The Reggae Boyz' best effort came after 20 minutes when they built their play on the left side through Oneil Fisher, who crossed into the penalty area where goalkeeper Luis Lopez could only punch behind for a corner while under pressure from Shamar Nicholson.

Fisher was substituted in the 52nd minute after being struck in the head by a firm free kick by Marcelo Canales in the 48th minute. Fisher was disoriented as a result of the incident and was taken to a nearby hospital , where he was assessed and treated.

With more than half hour gone, Honduras created another chance from a free kick just outside the penalty box after Fisher brought down a Castillo, who was played through the centre of the park. However, Marcelo Canales could only look on in disgust as his well struck left footer crashed against the crossbar.

At the other end Nicholson attempted an audacious sidekick, which was easily accepted by goalkeeper Lopez.

The Jamaicans made their intentions known immediately upon the resumption when Owayne Gordon slammed a wicked right-footer at goal, which Lopez could only block for a corner.

Jourdain Fletcher then had a good chance to open his account for Jamaica when he fought off a central defender and raced towards goal only to drive his weaker right-footed effort wide of the mark.

And even after going ahead, Burke had not one but two other clear chances to make the game safe only to produce weak finishes after clearing his path to goal.

The Jamaicans made six changes to the starting team, which faced the United States of America in Chattanooga, Tennessee on February 3.

The teams are using this game as preparation for more important fixtures, which Honduras set to continue their Russia World Cup qualifying campaign next month against the US and Costa Rica, while Jamaica will look to the Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this summer.

Ian Burnett

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