Panama humiliate Reggae Boyz 3-0 inside The OfficeMonday, September 06, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz slumped to a humiliating 0-3 defeat to visitors Panama in yesterday's Concacaf World Cup qualifier inside the National Stadium.
Andrés Andrade opened the scoring in the 14th minute, and Rolando Blackburn (39th) added a second before the half-time break.
Substitute Cecilio Waterman notched a late third for the efficient Panama team in the 82nd minute.
It was a particularly horrendous first half from the Jamaicans, typified by shambolic defending and disjointed approach when in possession of the ball.
And, while the late goal conceded in the 1-2 loss away to Mexico on Thursday was a hard pill to swallow, the Jamaicans had shown no shortage of effort in trying circumstances. At home yesterday there was hardly any of that determination and cohesion.
Michail Antonio's much-anticipated Boyz début was one to forget. The hotshot West Ham United striker was ineffective, scarcely getting supply of the ball, and he was substituted in the second half.
It was the second defeat for the Boyz to begin the final round of Concacaf qualifying following on the disappointment in Mexico City.
Panama move to four points after a home draw against Costa Rica last week.
During the post-match press conference, Jamaica Head Coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore said lack of execution and commitment was to blame for the team's abysmal first half.
“First and foremost, I think it's down to the desire. We had a session the day before the game and we set up to not sit deep. But we sat deep this afternoon, and we allowed the Panamanians to play,” the former Reggae Boy explained.
“We conceded two first-half goals and from there it was downhill for us. We made substitutions at the half and it gave us a little success, but after going two-nil down it was an uphill task,” the 1998 World Cup standout continued.
Yesterday, Whitmore named a starting 11 that possessed a number of overseas-bred players debuting on home soil. Cory Burke, Kemar Lawrence and skipper Andre Blake were the only Jamaican-born players to start.
In warm, late afternoon conditions inside the stadium — bereft of spectators due to ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic health measures — Panama set the tempo from the outset, bossing possession and bringing the game to the hosts.
Conversely, the Jamaican players on the pitch looked every bit like a team that had not been together for long.
But they got an early opening that was wasted by another recruit Kemar Roofe.
The attacker awkwardly booted high from inside the box after Antonio bullied his marker into a fluffed clearance in the sixth minute.
And, when Roofe failed to latch on to Ravel Morrison's short pass as Jamaica tried to build from the back, the home team was left undermanned in defence. Andrade took full advantage, driving forward to fire a sweet, left-footed grounder across the diving Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake and into the net.
As Jamaicans continued to look clueless in the face of a positive Panama unit, Blackburn nodded the visitors into a two-nil lead. The Jamaica defence was hapless, allowing Blackburn the freedom to get onto a neat cross.
Whitmore rang the changes in the second half and, though his team continued to be outplayed, it was a far better display.
Burke, who worked tirelessly all game, got much better service after the interval and was a menace for the Panama defence, even though he was often isolated in possession.
Roofe, who plays for Rangers in Scotland, had a glorious opportunity to half the deficit inside the final 15 minutes.
Daniel Johnson was the provider, clipping a delightful cross after a well-worked short corner, but Roofe's header went at a comfortable height for Panama 'keeper Luis Cajar to tip over the bar.
As Jamaica pressed forward to pull back a goal Panama got the cushion of a third.
Waterman, who entered the fray for Blackburn, went on the scoresheet when he made full use of the time and space he got at the edge of the box before twisting to slide the ball past the advancing Blake.
From there it was no way back for the deflated home side.
Teams: JAMAICA – Andre Blake, Wesley Harding (Alvas Powell 73rd), Ethan Pinnock, Ravel Morrison (Devon Williams 46th), Liam Moore, Kemar Roofe, Cory Burke, Bobby Reid (Junior Flemmings 46th), Daniel Johnson, Michail Antonio (Shamar Nicholson 73rd), Kemar Lawrence.
Subs not used: Dillon Barnes, Dennis Taylor, Tyreek Magee, Adrian Mariappa, Lamar Walker, Blair Turgott, Javain Brown, Oniel Fisher.
Booked: Nicholson (89th)
PANAMA – Luis Cajar, Fidel Mendieta, Josè Rodriguez (Alfredo Stephens 56th), Adalberto Alcazar, Edgar Barcenas (Abidel Ayarza 76th), Eric Davis (Azmahar Ariano 65th), Andrés Andrade, Rolando Blackburn (Cecilio Waterman 46th), Alberto Quintero (Cesar Yanis 56th), Anibal Lemus, Michael Murillo
Subs not used: José Calderon, Orlando Mosquera, Eduardo Guerrero, Jiovany Romos, Jair Catuy, Cesar Blackman, Oscar Linton.
Referee: Ismael Cornejo (El Salvador)
Assistant referees: Geovany Garcia (El Salvador), Juan Zumba (El Salvador)
Fourth official: Daneon Parchment (Jamaica)
Match commissary: Sharon O'Brien (Trinidad & Tobago)