Panama shut down Jamaica

Published on 06 September 2021

KINGSTON, Jamaica (September 5, 2021)—An early conversion from Andres Andrade in the 14th minute, Rolando Blackburn in the 40th minute and a late strike from Cecilio Waterman were too much for Jamaica in their World Cup qualifier against Panama on Sunday.

The Reggae Boyz were playing at home at the National Stadium Independence Park and welcomed back some big names to the starting team.

Panama were allowed time and space in the middle of the field to build up play, and they enjoyed the majority of the possession. After an interception in midfield, Andrade had time to get his shot off—a powerful, low, left-footed strike— which was too much for Andre Blake to keep out. The ball flew past the outstretched Jamaican goalkeeper in the 14th minute.

The Reggae Boyz appeared unsettled within the first 20 minutes of play and were unable to get into the game and put passes together. The Panamanian team, meanwhile, seemed to thrive. Blackburn had a chance in the 37th minute to add to his team’s score, but his header was well dealt with by Blake.

Blackburn tested Blake few minutes after, and, this time, his thunderous header found the back of the net from a cross by Eric Davis.

Jamaica had a few looks at goal but nothing materialized. The strong defensive showing against Mexico was nonexistent in this match.

Waterman continued with impressive showings off the bench and made an impact just before the end of regular time, in minute 82. He Waterman got the better of two defenders and then eventually Blake to make it 3-0.

Jamaica who are 0-2 play Costa Rica on the September 8. Panama will face Mexico on the same day.

Costa Rica 0-1 Mexico

A first half penalty by Orbelin Pineda in the 45th minute was enough for Mexico to grind out a very important win away from home against Costa Rica.

Costa Rica were on the front foot in the early stages of the games, as they tried to deny Mexico any time on the ball.

Randall Leal sat one up for Bryan Ruiz, but he saw his effort pushed away by the Mexican goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa.

A poorly weighted ball in the defensive third was picked off and sent Mexico’s Rogelio Funes Mori one on one against the PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who came up with the big save to keep his team in it.

Mexico quickly began to force mistakes out of the home team, with the good movement of players and the ball. The Costa Ricans gave up a foul just before halftime. Bryan Oviedo came through on a challenge against Mexico’s Andrés Guardado, catching him on the shin. The referee pointed to the spot and it was first-half substitute Pineda against Navas from 12 yards. Pineda dispatched his penalty, sending Navas the wrong way and  giving his team the lead and the victory.

Mexico made it two from as many matches and top the group. They play Panama on Wednesday while Panama face Jamaica.

El Salvador 0-0 Honduras

El Salvador and Honduras battled to a 0-0 stalemate when both teams met in their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Concacaf Third round match.

In a game lacking quality but high on physicality, chances were few and far between.  El Salvador’s Alexander Larin sought to put his side ahead in the 4th minute but missed his direct free kick from just outside the penalty area, narrowly wide of the top right-hand corner. 

Honduras would get on the offensive shortly thereafter with Jonathan Toro having two sights at goal in quick succession, however failing to hit the target on both occasions. 

The match soon tapered off into a battle of attrition with some typical robust challenges between the Central American rivals.  The best scoring chance in the first half of proceedings fell to Joaquin Rivas in the 35th minute.  The Salvadorian forward found some space at the edge of the Honduran penalty area but his left footed shot was smartly saved by Luis Lopez.  Romell Quito shot wide from a narrow angle a few minutes later looking to add some impetus to the Honduran attack.  the first half ended with both teams deadlocked at 0-0.

The first half was signs of things to come as the second half saw more yellow cards being issued than attempts on goal.  As the physicality of the match ramped up, the quality of play deteriorated.

The first attempt on goal for the second half came in the 90th minute, with Bryan Acosta’s right footed shot from outside the El Salvador penalty area missing to the left. 

With 20 minutes of second half injury time to play, the game sprang to life for a brief spell as both teams pushed for maximum points from the match.  First it was El Salvador on the charge with Walmer Martinez coming close to giving his team the lead, but his shot missed to the right and Joshua Perez’ shot from the left side of the penalty area being charged down.

Soon it was Honduras’s turn and they found some good chances to win the match at the end.  Edwin Rodriguez had his left-footed shot from inside the penalty area sensational block, and Brayan Moya having 2 chances to be the hero.  Moya had his well- placed header from a corner kick saved and flash his right footed attempt from the center of the penalty area high above the goal. 

Those missed chances late on ensured that both teams would share the points as the match ended in a 0-0 score line.

Canada 1-1 USA

The USA were held to a draw at home by Canada. Brenden Aaronson gave his team the lead in the 55th minute but Cyle Larin drew Canada level just seven minutes later.

Playing at home to a capacity grow of just over 40,000 people, the USA were aiming for the double having defeated Canada 1-0 recently in Gold Cup action. Both teams had altered squads from that match up. For the USA, Christian Pulisic returned to add the attacking element but number one goalkeeper Zack Steffen was out due to illness. Alphonso Davis returned from injury for Canada.

Early on, the USA double teamed Davies down the left side, knowing his pace and deliveries into the box would ask a lot of questions of their defense.

The USA displayed good patience as Canada brought the fight. Larin made his first attempt on the 10-minute mark, but it was an easy enough save for Matt Turner.

The goal for the USA came in the 55th minute when Aaronson applied pressure in the midfield to disposes a Canadian player. He sprinted into the box to receive a low cross from Antonee Robinson to bang it home from close range, sending the fans into a frenzy at the Nashville stadium.

Seven minutes later, there was deafening silence when Davies received a ball out wide and used his pace to get away and in front of DeAndre Yedlin to deliver a beautifully weighted pass for Larin who calmly guided the ball into an open USA net.

The USA travel to Honduras while Canada host El Salvador for the next round of matches.

 

 

 

 

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