At the death! - James’ debut goal spares Boyz’ blushes

Reggae Boyz draw first blood in friendly series

Thursday, February 23, 2012

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SCHOOLBOY Jorginho James came off the bench inside the last 10 minutes to spare the Reggae Boyz’ blushes in a 1-0 victory over Caribbean neighbours Cuba at the National Stadium last evening.

The Kingston College Manning Cupper was introduced in the 82nd minute and three minutes later volleyed home Ryan Johnson’s intelligent centre to give the hosts a much-deserved victory.

The game was by no means a great spectacle, but the Reggae Boyz proved the better side with more threats on goal, despite a spattering of boos from the fairly decent-sized crowd for a game of this nature.

It was the first game inside the National Stadium, dubbed ‘The Office’, since 2010 when Canada visited, and the Boyz inched closer in their longstanding battles with their 10th victory, against 15 losses in 33 meetings.

They go at it again tomorrow with a 7:30 kick-off at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay.

It was a tentative start by both teams, but from early on it became obvious that the visitors were prepared to stay behind the ball and play on the counter-attack.

Jamaica probed, but found it difficult to break down the Cuban defence, though on occasions they created decent openings which were never really capitalised on.

Jamaica sprang to life on the half-hour mark when Jermaine Hue floated a diagonal pass over the defence and onto Navion Boyd, who cut into the penalty area, but his right-footed blast was coughed up by goalkeeper Odisnel Despaigne, and with no yellow shirt in sight, the danger was averted.

Minutes later, Joel Senior, who worked hard in midfield, particularly in the first half, combined well to create an opening which sailed agonisingly wide of the goal frame, with Despaigne scrambling across helplessly.

There were a number of near misses in the second half, particularly from headers, as the Reggae Boyz continued to search for the opening goal, and with Xavian Virgo proving a danger down the right flank, whipping in crosses after crosses, it was no surprise when James hit the target for the victory.

Teams: Jamaica — Jacomeno Barrett, Adrian Reid, Jermaine Taylor, Andrea Campbell, Richard Edwards (Xavian Virgo 46th), Oneil Thompson (Rohan Reid 60th), Joel Senior, Jermaine Hue (Mitchily Waul 68th), Jevaughn Watson (Jorginho James 82nd), Navion Boyd (Dino Williams 65th), Ryan Johnson (Romeo Parkes 90th) Booked: Rohan Reid (64th) Subs not used: Richard McCallum, Montrose Phinn, Keneil Moodie, Troy Smith, Camal Reid

Cuba — Odisnel Despaigne, Jose Cardenas, Yoisel Masa, Jose Cordeno, Dairon Joseph, Felix Rondon, Carlos Serrano, Osay Domenech (Aricheell Mora 78th), Maikel Ramirez, Keiler Estrada, Heviel Gonzalez (Dalain Fernandez 68th) Booked: Cordeno (50th), Estrada (73rd) Subs not used: Andy Gomez, Renay Serrano, Adrian Diz Pez, Jorge Juara, Maykel Azcuy

Referee: Roberto Moreno (Panama) Assistant Referees: Ricardo Morgan, Lloyd Reader (Jamaica)

Fourth Official: Raymond Bogle (Jamaica) Match Commissary: Anthony Cooke (Jamaica) Referee Assessor: Victor Stewart

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