Jamaica went into Tuesday’s encounter with the Mighty Mexican
with lots of optimism and hope but came up short as 28 years old Monterrey striker Aldo de Nigris score the lone goal in the 48th minute to seal an all important victory for the Concacaf Giants.
Both teams wasted good opportunities but none the less produced some great football at times in a very entertaining game. Both nations needed the three points but it was the share quality and professionalism of the Mexicans that allowed them to leave the National Stadium with the three points.
The Mexican made their intentions clear from very early as Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez was caught offside in the very 1st minute of the match. Hernandez then showed he had a good understanding with de Nigris as they link-up quite well in the 4th minute but the result was a goal kick.
The Jamaicans settled quickly and early on looked very composed and confident on the ball. However, the first chance of the game fell to de Nigris as he headed towards goal from a Pablo Berrera cross but Donovan Ricketts made an easy save. The first chance for the host came in the 21st minute when the impressive Jermaine Hue crossed for Ryan Johnson but he headed over the bar - great opportunity. In the 32nd minute Je-Vaughn Watson made space on the right flank and made a brilliant cross but no one was there to head home.
Mexico started dictating play from about the 33rd minute and Hernandez almost open the scoring on 38th minute. He was allowed to control, turn and have a shot at goal from just outside the penalty area but his shot was saved by Ricketts and onto the post and behind for a corner. The final chance of the half fell to Watson after he received the ball from a deflection off the wall from Austin’s free kick but he shot wide.
The half ended with the fans feeling great and building a momentum for the second half. It was a tight opening 45 minutes which the Jamaicans managed to keep Mexico’s deadly strike duo at bay. Jamaica was causing problems as Gareth McCleary and Hue looked threatening.
The second half started with Jamaica going on the front foot but it was Mexico who got the first goal. Carlos Salcido picked up the ball in the attacking third down the left flank and crossed beautifully for de Nigris to head home on 48 minutes. The goal silenced the National Stadium which led to Mexico dictating play as veteran midfielder Gerrardo Torrado took charge in midfield passing the ball around and gaining confidence on the ball.
The Mexican custodian Jose de Jesus Corona had a relatively quiet game but showed great concentration to keep out a diving Ryan Johnson header at the near post, giving up a corner on 53 minutes.
Mexico made the 1st substitution on 59 minutes, taking out Barrera replacing him with Gerardo Torres. They came close again in the 62nd minute when Hernandez was played in on a tight angle but Ricketts came out early to save brilliantly. Jamaica then made a double switch with Darren Mattocks replacing Johnson and Beckford replacing Watson. The subs failed to make an impact on the game as the Mexican were dictating play through Torrado.
Jamaica got a shot attempt at goal on 69 minutes but Austin fire over the bar from about 25 yards - good effort. Corona made another great save from a Marvin Elliot header on 73 minutes assisted by Alvas Powell. The Mexicans however, just looked to pass and keep the ball and be professional while keeping tight and compact.
In the 83rd minute Guardado squared the ball to Hernandez who controlled expertly, beat his marker and shoot at goal only to see Ricketts spreads himself to make another wonderful save. This would prove to be Hernandez’s last action as he was taken out on 85 minutes replaced by Raul Jimenez. No further meaningful action took place as the Mexicans stayed compact to complete a much needed win.
Story by Yashiema Love