TWO local coaches and a former national player have weighed in on the Reggae Boyz's 2-2 result with Honduras in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Tuesday.
Carlo Costly — with an early strike — and Maynor Figueroa got on the score sheet for World Cup-bound Honduras.
The Reggae Boyz, who at times were chasing shadows in midfield against the more technically gifted Central Americans, had to thank an Jorge Claros own goal and captain Rodolph Austin's successful penalty kick for securing the draw.
Andrew Price, the head coach of Boys' Town FC, and Tivoli Gardens FC assistant Alvin Shaw questioned Jamaica's level of organisation, but Derrick 'Shastri' Denniser, also a popular sports analyst, defended the Boyz, saying they "fought well to the very end".
The Jamaicans finished in last spot in the final phase, winless with five points from 10 matches, three behind fifth-placed Panama.
United States (22 points), Costa Rica (18) and Honduras (15) took the automatic qualifying places, while fourth-placed Mexico (11) are forced to play off with OCEANIA champions New Zealand.
Jamaica's most talked-about passer of the football, veteran midfielder Jermaine Hue has been banned after a failed dope test recently, but despite his absence, many expected a more flattering display from the Boyz to exit what has been a tremendously disappointing campaign.
Jamaica's head coach Winfried Schafer employed a 4-3-3 formation with Darren Mattocks, Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson and Deshorn Brown making up the advanced front trio.
That move suggested an attacking mindset, but according to Price, it also meant the home team lost the battle in midfield.
"The formation did not lend to us attacking the Hondurans as much as we wanted and they dominated in midfield, especially in the first half. It was basically a tale of two halves and the (second half) adjustment was good to pack the midfield and leave 'Tuffy' up there and people could come (forward) and support him.
"When we made the adjustment in the second half, I think we came into our own and looked a lot better. Then we attacked more and we moved the ball around a lot quicker," Price told the Jamaica Observer moments after the final whistle.
Price, a television and radio football analyst, added that Jamaica have suffered from the lack of creativity in central areas.
"But the fact of the matter is there is no creativity in the middle of the park and there is nobody carrying the ball to give and supply the forwards, hence you don't have any opportunities in the 18-yard-box.
"The fact that we are not getting numbers in the box and we are not finishing is a major concern. Look at the shots we took at goal, they were mostly weak, tame shots from outside the box and won't trouble most goalkeepers," he lamented.
The Boys' Town coach said he was also expecting more "zest and vigour" from Jamaica on their home turf.
"I think it was going to be very difficult to motivate the team, especially going into this last game and having not won a game. (Still) you would hope that pride would have taken over the team and they would have come out and played with more zest and vigour," Price said.
Shaw said he found it hard to assess Tuesday's game after a series of challenges including the appointment of a new head coach midstream the campaign, chopping of players and general shortcomings in the national programme.
For him, too many issues have impacted on the team's chemistry and the lack of that crucial ingredient crippled the 'Road To Brazil' from several games earlier.
"We went wrong several games ago so it's difficult for me to comment on this. There are quite a few new players in the team (yet) again so the chemistry is not going to be there really.
"We are just way behind... the national programme is just way behind. The whole thing has been such a disappointment for me, it's difficult to just focus on tonight's game.
"There is no system of play so it's difficult to say what formation Jamaica were playing. I think it was a poor game and we looked disorganised. Honduras also played a little timid, I don't know if it was because of their situation where they needed to ensure they didn't lose. I've seen them play before, but tonight they were very timid, " Shaw said.
Denniser, a former Jamaica football standout, was far less scathing of the Boyz' performance.
"The team gave a good account today and they fought well to the very end.
"Unlike the previous games, this game was a more open one. We had more shots on goal and this was the most entertaining game the Jamaican team has played so far. They scored two goals and they hit the crossbar.
"We conceded in the second or third minute.... our defenders were not tenacious and attentive to react and that led to us conceding the first goal. The second goal (they scored) was from a deflected free-kick and we were unlucky not to have hit back in like manner when I think Demar Phillips hit the crossbar with a thunderous shot.
"We drew with almost all the teams and with a little luck we could have been in a better position in this phase. What has manifested itself all along is that our players are not as tenacious and as swift as our opponents have been," Denniser said.