Sport

Jamaica thrashed 2-5 by Saudi Arabia in tier two friendly

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The kingdom of Saudi Arabia proved too much for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, who surrendered 2-5 in their tier-two friendly game here inside the King Abdullah Sports City last evening.

Played before 8,226 men at the posh US$560-million, three-year-old, 62,000-plus facility the hosts, under new Argentine coach Edgardo Bauza, got goals from Salem Al Dawsari in the 22nd minute, Hazza AL Hazza (37th), Salman Al Farj (44th), Mohamed Al Berik (48th) and substitute Abdulah Al Joui in time added.

Jamaica replied through Jamiel Hardware in the 35th minute and substitute Marvin Morgan, with his first touch of the ball in the 68th.

The hosts made their intentions known from early on when Abdelftah Aseri and Hazza Al Hazza combined well to get in behind the Jamaican defence. After Aseri skipped by the advancing goalkeeper Dwayne Miller, the angle tightened and he could only turn his desperate, left-footed effort into the side netting.

And before long their dominance came to the fore as Al Dawsari picked up a loose ball in the middle of the Jamaican half and, in combination with Aseri and Al Hazza, the trio parted the Reggae Boyz backline like Moses did the nearby Red Sea thousands of years ago, before slotting past Miller and thus leaving the Boyz in disarray, much like the Egyptian pharaohs who were in pursuit of the Moses-led Israelites.

Just after the half hour mark, the hosts were gifted another glorious chance to add to their lead when the Jamaican centre back pair of Damion Lowe and Ladale Richie simultaneously challenged for the ball, which bounced kindly into the unguarded path of Al Hazza. But after racing towards the unprotected Miller, the wily striker tried to be too cheeky, with his delicate chip floating narrowly wide of Miller's goal frame.

Before long Jamaica restored parity out of nothing, as a right-sided back post cross was beautifully controlled by Hardware, who cleared his path before firing home, well out of the reach of goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiof.

But the home team wasted no time in regaining their lead as Al Hazza was left with too much time and space by Lowe and flashed a neat near-post header inside Miller's far post.

And the Boyz, who were left chasing shadows for long periods, allied to carelessly gift away possession, going further behind thanks to a harsh penalty call against Richie on the deceptive Al Hazza.

Midfielder Al Farj made no mistake, driving a firm low shot to Miller's right.

The Saudis went three-up immediately upon resumption when right-sided defender Mohamed Al Berik turned home from a melee, but after Head Coach Theodore Whitmore adjusted the team with three early changes, the Boyz stymied in the homeside's marauding attacks and started building attacks of the own.

Morgan, with his first touch, chipped goalkeeper Muaiof to reduce the deficit and, during a period where they enjoyed a bit of possession and fluency in their attacks, Francis worked his way deep down the left-hand channel, but his inch-perfect cross was somehow missed by a sliding Michael Seaton, and after Rosario Harriott kept the ball alive, Morgan was inches wide of notching his second of the game.

Seaton then steered a Harriott right-sided cross high and wide.

In time added, substitute Muktar Ali teased his way past Taylor and, with the composure of a top flight pro, served fellow substitute Al Joui who could not miss from six yards out.

But even then, Chevone Marsh still found time to blast a good chance wide of the goal frame.

—Ian Burnett

Teams: Jamaica — Dwayne Miller, Damion Lowe, Ladale Richie, Shaun Francis, Oniel Fisher, Ewan Grandison (Michael Seaton 49th), Devon Williams Jermaine Taylor 55th), Je-Vaughn Watson, Alex Marshall (Fabian Reid 49th), Jamiel Hardware (Marvin Morgan 67th), Romario Williams (Chevone Marsh 60th).

Booked: Marshall (10th), Watson (54th)

Subs not used: Damion Hyatt, Ricardo Morris.

Saudi Arabia — Abdullah Al Muaiof, Omar Othman, Osama Hawsawi, Mohamed Al Berik, Yaseer Al Shahrani (Abdulah Al Hafed 85th), Abdulmleek Al Khaibri, Salman Al Farj (Muktar Ali), Yahya Al Shehri (Hussain Al Mqahwi 73rd), Salem Al Dawsari (Fares Abdi 71st), Abdelftah Aseri (Abdulah Al Joui), Hazza Al Hazza (Abdulah Otayf 81st)

Booked: None

Subs not used: Yaser Al Mosilem, Abdulah Al Dawsari, Saeed Al Mwlad, Motaz Hawsawi, Mansor Al Harbi, Abdulrahman Al Yami

Referee: Sultan Marzoqy (UAE)

Assistant Referees: Mohamed Ahmed (UAE), Hassan Al Mahry (UAE)

Fourth Official: Mohamed Abdullah

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