Reggae Boyz hit Aruba for six in Nations League return fixture


Reggae Boyz hit Aruba for six in Nations League return fixture

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake had promised a much better performance in their return-leg game against Aruba inside Stadion Ergilio Hato last evening and his charges didn't disappoint.

Smarting from a lacklustre 2-0 win at home against the same opposition on Saturday, the Reggae Boyz annihilated the Arubans by banging in six unanswered goals to further cement their status atop Group C of League B of the Concacaf Nations League yesterday.

It was a game for first-time goalscorers as no fewer than four players hit the target for the first time at the senior level.

Chavany Willis from the penalty spot in the third minute, Maalique Foster with a double in the 17th and 53rd, Lamar Walker in the 18th, and Junior Flemmings in the 47th were the first-time scorers to add to Shamar Nicholson's strike in the 34th minute.

The result left Jamaica atop the group with maximum 12 points from four wins, followed by Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda on six points, with Aruba still rooted at the foot of the four-team table without a point.

Guyana defeated Antigua and Barbuda 5-1 on Monday.

Jamaica took the lead in the seventh when Willis converted from the penalty spot, after a defender was deemed to have handled a left-sided cross from Shaun Francis, to register his first goal for Jamaica at the senior level.

Ten minutes later Foster doubled the advantage when he volleyed home expertly slightly right, just outside the penalty area after Francis's right-sided corner was half-cleared.

The small group of Jamaicans inside the venue, who had demanded in no uncertain manner a better performance than what was served inside Kingston's National Stadium on Saturday, had barely retained their seats when Clarendon College schoolboy Walker increased the lead further.

Alvas Powell, who had won possession inside his own penalty area, started on a dribble when he tripped up and Foster took control of the ball and continued where Powell had left off. On his diagonal from the right side he played a neat through pass to Walker who had made the run and the youngster showed the composure way beyond his tender years to neatly round the advancing goalkeeper Eric Abdul before slotting into the net, then wheeling away to his right to invite his teammates to join in the celebration.

It was also his first goal for Jamaica at this level.

Nicholson increased the lead even further on 34 minutes when he reacted quickest to Willis's rasping drive which Abdul failed to take cleanly for Nicholson to tap into an empty net.

Two minutes into the second half Flemmings continued the trend for the first-time goalscorers when he outsprinted the defence on the left and slotted past Abdul from an acute angle.

Immediately after, Amal Knight had to be alert to parry a fierce shot by Erik Santos, who had bombed forward from deep midfield.

Francis posed a threat all night with his menacing left-side crosses and it was from one in the 53rd minute that beat everybody except Foster at the back post to tap in.

Teams: Jamaica – Amal Knight, Alvas Powell (Fabion McCarthy 54th), Adrian Mariappa, Damion Lowe, Shaun Francis, Je-Vaughn Watson (Andre Lewis 46th), Chavany Willis, Maalique Foster (Javon East 63rd), Junior Flemmings, Lamar Walker, Shamar Nicholson

Booked: Mariappa (83rd)

Subs not used: Andre Blake, Akeem Chambers, Kevaughn Isaacs, Dever Orgill, Ajeanie Talbott, Brian Brown, Kemar Lawrence, Alex Marshall, Devon Williams

Aruba – Eric Abdul, Glenbert Gross, Marlon Pereira, Nickenson Paul, Noah Harms (Eugene Heyden, 72nd), Erik Santos, Leroy Oehlers, Terrence Groothusen, Gregor Breinburg, Edward Clarissa (Javier Jiminez, 46th), Joshua Gross (Annuar Kock, 46th)

Booked: Breinburg (57th)

Subs not used: Matthew Lentink, Raizel Jansen, Randell Harrevely, Jeamirr Howell, Mark Jacobs, Andrew Martinez, Resef Gross

Referee: Ricardo Montero Araya (Costa Rica)

Assistant referees: Octavio Jara (Costa Rica), Carlos Fernandez (Costa Rica)

Fourth official: Henry Bejarano (Costa Rica)

Referee assessor: Carlos Batres (Guatemala)

Match commissary: Hubert Isenia (Curacao)

— Ian Burnett

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