Boyz fall to Los Ticos; set to face USA in Gold Cup quartersWednesday, July 21, 2021
ORLANDO, USA – Despite a very promising first half, Jamaica's Reggae Boyz failed to reproduce that form for the second stanza as they went down 0-1 to Costa Rica in their Group C match at the Concacaf Gold Cup on Tuesday night.
In the Exploria Stadium affair, veteran and Captain Brian Luiz got the winner in the 53rd minute.
Jamaica, with six points, finish the group in second spot and will face the United States in the quarter-finals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.
Costa Rica will tackle Canada in the second match of the Arlington final-eight double header, having topped group C with maximum nine points.
Tuesday night's game was held up for two hours and 13 minutes due to a weather break as a system moved across the Orlando area. The match was halted in only the third minute of play.
In Florida, the lightning storm capital of the United States of America, if strikes occur within eight miles of a sporting event, players and fans must leave open spaces and seek refuge inside.
For every lightning strike, the delay is extended by 30 minutes.
In previous matches, a sore point for the Jamaica coaching staff was the lack of cohesion of the midfield. But on Tuesday, it clicked with Miami FC midfielder Devon Williams conducting the orchestra in a confident and commanding manner.
The ball possession was also on cue, especially in the first half, as the Boyz used the length and breadth of the park to good effect and appeared dangerous around the Costa Rica box.
But again, the finishing left much to be desired in a game where they had the best scoring chances and should have won the match.
The Boyz first threatened in the 14th minute, when cheeky play in the middle of the park by Tyreek Magee allowed him space to see options and he obliged by spraying the ball left side to Blair Turgott.
The Norway-based attacker delivered a one-time pass inside for Kemar Lawrence who, on his weaker right foot, fired low looking for the far left-hand corner, but his shot skipped marginally wide.
In the 26th, after winning a free kick on the edge of the box, Belgium-based Magee's curler flew high over the horizontal.
A short time later, Los Ticos ploughed forward with Adrian Martinez working a neat one-two with Keysher Fuller, but the latter was expertly marshalled by central defender Damion Lowe.
In the next foray in minute 31, Magee carried the ball forward by going directly down the middle, and laid off for Turgott charging down the right, but instead of crossing, the latter went for glory and watched his final effort sail high.
In the 42nd minute the Boyz conjured another promising move when Turgott glided into space and laid a soft pass to Gray who appeared surprised by the ball that slipped by a defender, and when it found him, his final shot was tame.
Turgott and Gray combined again in the 44th minute. Turgott, in the box and surrounded by a web of Cost Rican feet, laid off gently for Gray, only this time the Watford striker got purchase on his right-footed shot, forcing goalkeeper Leonel Moreira to push behind for a corner.
Jamaica had another chance in the 51st minute when Lawrence flew down his favourite left-side, crossed low inside for Turgott and, as he had done on several occasions during the game, set up Gray, who went for power over accuracy from 12 yards as his right-footed shot crashed into the upright.
Costa Rica took the lead two minutes later when Ariel Lassiter floated a ball into the box for the veteran Ruiz, who rose unmarked to head past Dillon Barnes making his debut in the tournament.
The Boyz drove forward in search for the equalizer in the 64th, with the move ending with Daniel Johnson's left-footed drive from 20 yards forcing Moreira to a full-stretched save.
A minute later, the Boyz came close again when the busy Turgott set up Captain Damion Lowe who tried to catch the keeper off guard with his low effort, but the ploy failed.
As Jamaica pressed for the equaliser, substitute Cory Burke was sent on a clear run in minute 72, but Moreira came charging out of his goal and ended up using his hand to block the Jamaica striker's shot. The Costa Rican custodian was red carded for the offence.
In the 80th Jamaica powered forward through Magee, who laid off a pass for Burke, who muscled his way past his marker and crossed for Shamar Nicholson, but the charging Charleroi striker could not find the target from close.
A minute later, Burke crossed for Nicholson, and again Nicholson couldn't make contact with conviction.
Teams: Costa Rica – Leonel Moreira, Yael Lopez (Ronaldo Matarrita 74th), Giancarlo Gonzalez, Keysher Fuller, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Ruiz (Johan Venegas 65th), Ariel Lassiter (Jefferson Brenes 85th), Joel Campbell, Allan Cruz (Celso Borges 65th, Adrian Martinez (Esteban Alvarado 74th), David Guzman.
Subs not used: Patrick Sequeira, Luis Diaz, Ariel Rodriguez, Jimmy Marin, Jose Ortiz
Booked: Moreira (red-carded)
Jamaica --- Dillon Barnes, Damion Lowe, Adrian Mariappa, Kemar Lawrence (Amari'i Bell 60th), Oniel Fisher, Daniel Johnson (Liam Moore 80th), Devon Williams, Tyreek Magee (Lamar Walker 80th), Blair Turgott (Shamar Nicholson 66th), Junior Flemmings, Andre Gray (Cory Burke 66th).
Subs not used: Andre Blake, Dennis Taylor, Michael Hector, Alvas Powell, Leon Bailey.
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUAT)
Assistant Referees: Caleb Wales (TRI), Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Referee Assessor: John Nielsen
Fourth Official: Diego Montario
Match Commissioner: Charlie Cuzzetto
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