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Reggae Boyz turn back Aruba 2-0 in Nations League

Sport editor

Sunday, October 13, 2019

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Jamaica produced a workmanlike performance to score a 2-0 victory over Aruba in Concacaf Nations League Group C of League B action, inside National Stadium last evening.

Devon Williams gave the Reggae Boyz the lead in the 13th minute and Shamar Nicholson doubled the lead two minutes from the end, after skying a wild effort from the penalty spot in the 77th minute.

Victory left Jamaica firmly on top of the group with maximum nine points, after scoring respective 6-0 and 4-0 victories over Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana in earlier games.

Aruba are rooted firmly at the bottom of the four-team points standing without a point, after 1-2 and 0-1 defeats to Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda, and are almost sure to be eliminated.

The two teams will do it again in Curacao on Tuesday in fourth-round action.

But with such a poor record it was no surprise when the visitors set out their stall in an ultra-defensive manner from the opening whistle, surrendering three quarters of the pitch to the home team.

The Boyz probed in an effort to find the opening and were successful when Williams popped up from deep midfield to settle his team's nerves, after a neat build-up play on the left side.

Centre half Damion Lowe picked up possession of the football at the half line and made a weighted pass to release Kemar Lawrence on the left flank. The New York Red Bull player then cheekily pulled the ball back from the byline into the path of Williams who made no mistake, slamming home left-footed.

Jamaica continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession and most of the things done well came through Lawrence, who repeatedly played in teasing crosses from the left flank — but nobody managed to get on to the end of them.

Nicholson was the main offender during this phase as his first touch deserted him on too many occasions, when he was nicely placed, thus squandering goalscoring chances.

Just after the half-hour mark, Dever Orgill had a glorious opportunity to increase the lead when none other than Lawrence provided him with a sitter at the back post but the energetic forward opted to control, only for the grateful, yet surprised goalkeeper Eric Abdul to accept gleefully.

The second half was more of the same as Jamaica bossed possession without creating too many chances, as they found it difficult to pierce the large numbers at the back in a game which saw too many stoppages by the visitors who went to ground at will, in an apparent effort to stall Jamaica's progress.

Substitute Javon East gave Jamaica a lifeline on 77 minutes when he was tripped up inside the penalty box, and Mexican Referee Jorge Perez Duran had no choice but to point to the 12-yard spot.

But symptomatic of his day in front of goal, Nicholson blasted wildly over the horizontal, much to the dismay of the few spectators inside the venue.

But the former Boys' Town striker made amends two minutes from time when Williams intercepted a clearance and played a pass to substitute Lamar Walker, who played in East.

The latter then sprung Nicholson on goal, and when a number a defenders confronted him, the chance at goal appeared dead and buried. But somehow, he manoeuvred the ball and dismissed them all before slotting home into an unguarded net to double the advantage and give a better reflection of the large gulf in class between the two teams.

Teams: Jamaica — Andre Blake, Alvas Powell, Adrian Mariappa, Damion Lowe, Kemar Lawrence, Devon Williams, Je-Vaughn Watson, Brian Brown (Maalique Foster 67th), Dever Orgill (Javon East 60th), Alex Marshall (Lamar Walker 67th), Shamar Nicholson

Booked: Marshall (39th)

Subs not used: Amal Knight, AKeem Chambers, Fabion McCarthy, Kevaughn Isaacs, Andre Lewis, Chavany Willis, Junior Flemmings, Shaun Francis, Ajeanie Talbott

Aruba — Eric Abdul, Glenbert Ctroes, Marlon Pereira, Nickenson Paul (Mark Jacobs 83rd), Noah Harms, Erik Santos, Leroy Oehlers, Terence Groothusen, Gregor Breinburg, Randell Harrevelt (Edward Clarissa 46th), Annuar Kock (Joshua Gross 46th)

Booked: Harms (37th)

Subs not used: Matthew Lentink, Raizel Jansen, Jeamirr Howell, Eugene HEyden, Javier Jiminez, Andrew Martinez, Resef Gross

Referee: Jorge Perez Duran (Mexico)

Assistant referees: Mario Lopez Camillo (Mexico), Michel Morales (Mexico)

Fourth officia l: Fernando Hernandez Gomez (Mexico)

Referee assessor: Jeffrey Solis Calderon (Costa Rica)

Match commissary: Earl Cochrane

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