Jamaica finally take 3 points in World Cup qualifier against HondurasThursday, October 14, 2021
BY IAN BURNETT
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras - A goal in each half from Kemar Roofe and Oniel Fisher propelled Jamaica to a 2-0 win over Honduras in their Fifa World Cup 2022 Concacaf Final Round Qualifier inside Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano last evening.
The victory, the first in this campaign, resulted in Jamaica moving off the foot of the points table to sixth place on five points, same as El Salvador, with Honduras being the new cellar-dweller as they are now the only winless team with three points.
Mexico moved to 14 points after a 2-0 win over El Salvador, as the US also moved up by three points to 11, after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Costa Rica.
Canada jumped to third on nine points after hammering Panama 4-1, as Panama were kept on eight points and Costa Rica on five.
It was also the third win by a Jamaica team in a World Cup qualifier in Central America, and the first under the guidance of a local coach, Theodore Whitmore.
In 2004, Brazilian Sebastiao Lazaroni guided Jamaica to a 3-0 win over El Salvador, thanks to a Marlon King hat-trick, and in 2015 German Winfried Schaefer coached the Boyz to a 2-0 win over Nicaragua.
Jamaica started slowly and almost paid the price in the opening quarter-hour when midfielder Anthony Grant lost possession of the ball cheaply just outside his penalty box but Alberth Elis was crowded out and forced to turn his shot wide of the mark.
Whitmore then tweaked his starting formation from a three-man backline by dropping central midfielder and utility player Je-Vaughn Watson into centre half and pushing Adrian Mariappa out wide on the right.
The ploy paid rich dividends as Jamaica assumed control of the game and looked threatening in attack while blunting the forward threat Honduras posed in the early stages.
Having pushed the home team back into their own half, Jamaica took the lead on 38 minutes when Shamar Nicholson created space from the left to unleash a shot on goal, only for Roofe to deflect the ball out of the reach of Lopez and into the goal for his first strike in four games for Jamaica.
Prior to that, Junior Flemmings had created a similar situation to score, but Lopez came up trumps to block from close range.
Honduras returned for the second half a desperate team with high intensity and pinned the Jamaicans back into a deep block in front of their goal.
But having soaked up enough pressure for the better part of half an hour, Whitmore went to his bench for a double change and within two minutes, Fisher, who started on the right but was shuffled over to the middle of midfield during the change, combined with substitute Andre Gray on the left before driving a right-footer beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Lopez to make the game safe for Jamaica.
The Fifa World Cup qualifiers continue on November 12 when El Salvador play host to Jamaica before returning home on November 16 to entertain the US.
Teams: Jamaica – Andre Blake, Kemar Lawrence, Adrian Mariappa, Damion Lowe, Oniel Fisher, Je-Vaughn Watson, Anthony Grant (Javon East 90th+), Devon Williams, Junior Flemmings (Andre Gray 76th), Kemar Roofe (Bobby Reid 58th), Shamar Nicholson (Javain Brown 76th)
Subs not used: Dillon Barnes, Jeadine White, Jamoi Topey, Tyreek Magee
Booked: Lowe (83rd)
Honduras – Luis Lopez, Johnny Leveron (Jose Pinto 69th), Dednil Maldonado, Andy Najar, Marcelo Pereira, Deybi Flores (Kevin Alvarez 46th), Kervin Arriaga, Alberth Elis, Alexander Lopez (Rigoberto Rivas 73rd), Angel Tejeda (Luis Palma (73rd), Brayan Velazquez (Eddie Hernandez 62nd)
Subs not used: Edrick Menjivar, Marlon Licona, Jose Garcia, Bryan Acosta, Diego Rodriquez, Carlos Pineda, Oscar Garcia
Booked: Flores (39th)
Referee: Bryan Lopez (Guatemala)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Tipaz (Guatemala)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumbia (El Salvador)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (Guatemala)
Teams P W D L Gf Ga Gd Pts
Mexico 6 4 2 0 10 3 7 14
US 6 3 2 1 9 4 5 11
Canada 6 2 3 0 10 4 6 9
Panama 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
Costa Rica 6 1 3 2 4 5 -1 6
Jamaica 6 1 2 3 4 8 -4 5
El Salvador 6 1 2 3 2 7 -5 5
Honduras 6 0 3 3 2 10 -8 3