Jamaica hold Costa Rica to a draw
Published on 09 September 2021
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (September 8, 2021)—Jamaica came from an early goal down in the third minute to draw level in the 47th to get their first point of the final round of the Concacaf World Cup Qualification when they met Costa Rica at home on Wednesday.
Both teams were under pressure for a win, but it was the Reggae Boyz who found themselves trailing in as little as three minutes when veteran Bryan Ruiz lofted a cross from the left-hand side, which was headed back across the goal to find Jimmy Marin wide open with the low header into the back of the net. The goal sent the home fans into a frenzy.
The first half went by without many opportunities thereafter, and with Jamaica slowly creeping back into the game.
The halftime talk from Theodore Whitmore seemed to have done some good, as the Jamaicans returned attacking and forceful as ever. The equalizing goal would come in the 47th minute. Tyreek Magee started the play with a beautiful turn in the midfield to evade his marker, picked out the advancing Kemar Lawrence on the left side, who in turn picked out Shamar Nicholson in the box to head one past the former Real Madrid goalkeeper Kaylor Navas.
Jamaica, gathering momentum from the goal, continued to pressure the home side and made proceedings hard for them. Magee continued to be the spark the Jamaican team needed, matching the impact on his team the same as the veteran Ruiz did for Costa Rica.
In the 61st minute, Junior Flemmings had the opportunity inside the box from a counter-attacking play. He opted to pass rather than shoot with the goal in clear sight, only for a corner that resulted in nothing, much to the frustration of the Jamaican coaching staff and bench. Costa Rica had a chance right after but Andre Blake made a good reaction save to keep his team in it.
With time winding down, Jamaica was the better team in the second half. Shamar Nicholson, twisting and turning one time too many inside the box, lost his opportunity in the 76th minute to add to his tally. Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell later gave Jamaica a scare, but his curling effort from outside the box went just wide of the target.
The game ended with Jamaica getting their first point from three matches and Costa Rica settling for the draw at home. The teams will now access and get ready for the next round of matches when the international window reopens in October.