It wouldn't be out of turn if one were to suggest that Jamaica were lucky to come away with a point in Tuesday night's World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica, who have booked their spot to Brazil 2014 courtesy of the 1-1 draw.
Though they weren't outclassed, the Reggae Boyz still did not deliver with the efficiency that was necessary for them to get the three points that they so badly needed to rekindle their flagging campaign. The point earned on the night keeps them in the running with only a slim mathematical chance for the fourth place play-off spot from CONCACAF, a battle that also involves powerhouse Mexico and Panama, in what is expected to be a classic dogfight to the finish, especially between the last two.
From a score of 0-10, this is how the Jamaica Observer rated the Boyz in the three areas of the field — defence, midfield and offence.
Again, following on a sound job in Panama, the three-pronged defence line proved to be the area that got it right more times than not. Again Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, Houston Dynamo's Jermaine Taylor, and the returning Adrian Mariappa of Premiership outfit Crystal Palace were professional for the most part. Stand-in goalkeeper, Waterhouse's Richard McCallum was having a superb day, pulling off a couple of great saves, but a pass out of his goal area intended for Mariappa was poorly delivered and the error caused the fresh-footed substitute Randall Brenes to latch on and beat him at his near post. That smeared the collective defensive effort.
The move to switch Lloyd Doyley into the right midfielder position in the 3-5-2 formation seems a good idea as the Watford man, who played in the middle of defence against Panama, appeared comfortable out there. Reading captain Jobi McAnuff was a tireless worker and appeared the most purposeful in a midfield overflowing with runners, rather than true ball artistes. But with Reading's Garath McCleary, Bristol City's Marvin Elliott holding and Reading's Shaun Cummings out left, there was bit more goalward movement, but still they lacked the ability to produce the final piece of magic that would aid themselves in the goal hunt or the strikers operating ahead of them.
The fact that the Boyz scored a goal in a campaign bankrupt of the only currency that wins games, will give them a score above what they got in the Panama encounter that ended 0-0. Also, there were shots from Marlon King and match captain Luton Shelton, who did not return from the dressing room at half-time, as Jermaine Beckford replaced him. But the highlight of the offence was the arrival of Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson, who got a clear chance to score, but could not convert soon after taking the field. But in time added, he silenced his critics and sent his adoring fans into wild celebrations when he rescued Jamaica from defeat with a deft touch that left Costa Rica goalie Patrick Pemberton helpless.