These are certainly not the best of times for Jamaica's football, but in the gloom a bright spark emerged in its fading Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in the shape of the irrepressible striker Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson.
Sadly, not many Jamaicans were inside the National Stadium to witness the spectacular return of 'Tuffy', as local fans frustrated with the performance of the Reggae Boyz surrendered the home turf to thousands of Costa Rican supporters who filled out the grandstand.
The proverbial 12th man that the players had so banked on for support, did not show for the game. Instead, the once impregnable 'Office' was transformed into a sea of red, blue and white of the Costa Ricans, who drowned out the faint Jamaican chorus in the distance.
'The Office' was conquered.
The Waterhouse striker — who is very popular with the people of Jamaica with his free-scoring ways in the local Premier League, showmanship and his onfield enthusiasm — made a glorious return to the national set-up by scoring in the Reggae Boyz's must-win match against Costa Rica on Tuesday night inside the National Stadium.
Anderson's time-added goal gave Jamaica a stay of execution in the hexagonal play-offs when he equalised against the Central Americans after coming on as a sub in the 68th minute.
Another substitute, Randall Brenes, had given the Costa Ricans the lead in the 74th minute.
Jamaica head coach Winfried Schafer praised Anderson for the role he played since entering the field of play.
"When 'Tuffy' came in he changed the game for us, he came in with power, I am not happy that we got only one goal as he had a big chance for one before, but he got one after that," said the German, in charge of his second game after guiding the Boyz in last Friday's 0-0 tie away to Panama.
Schafer, speaking to reporters after Tuesday night's game, said it was always a part of the plan to inject Anderson at some point of the contest.
"We will need 'Tuffy' at home for the last 15 minutes or so, I had said... for this match we needed a good stadium, as you see there were more Costa Ricans in the stadium than Jamaicans. When 'Tuffy' came in, the supporters gave us the second power to our players," said the former Cameroon coach.
But Schafer responded to queries of why the Waterhouse man was not given more time on the pitch.
"You cannot play a player against Costa Rica (for the whole match) and he is not (fully) fit... but I am happy about why I take him in," he noted.
Reflecting on the match itself, the new Boyz head coach said it was an "up and down" game where his players "gave 100 per cent".
"This team played for mama, papa, grandpa, friend. I am very happy about this team. Wes Morgan, who got his passport only three weeks ago, fought like a tiger for Jamaica and (Jobi) McAnuff, like in Panama, gave everything for this team," Schafer said as he fielded questions at a post-match press conference.
As the Boyz look to their next assignment against the USA on October 11 in Kansas City, the German said he's hoping to get Demar Phillips back as the left-sided player would bring an offensive boost cutting inside as he likes to do.
"Phillips is one of the best players on the left side and I hope he will come back in time from injury," Schafer noted.
Costa Rica, meanwhile, moved to 15 points in the CONCACAF hexagonal play-offs, and secured qualification along with the USA, who defeated Mexico 2-0 at home to boost their points tally to 16, for a safe passage to the Brazil 2014 World Cup Finals.
Honduras followed up their 2-1 victory over Mexico at the Azteca last Friday with a 2-2 result against Panama at home to move to 11 points, while Panama inched up a place to fourth on eight points, the same as Mexico.
Jamaica advanced to four points, but remained firmly rooted at the bottom of the six-nation group, but having failed to gather maximum points and with nearest rivals Mexico and Panama doing likewise, the Reggae Boyz were kept on life support, as they still have a mathematical chance of stealing fourth place, should they register maximum points from their two remaining games, and neither Mexico nor Panama score a win in either of their games. The team that finishes in fourth place will earn another chance at qualification when they engage the winner of the Oceania region, New Zealand, in a home-and-away play-off series in mid-November.
Jamaica will oppose the USA on October 11 in that country, and then Honduras at home four days later, while Mexico welcome Panama to the Azteca on October 11, before travelling to the already qualified Costa Rica on October 15, as Panama entertain the US on the same day.