Reggae Boyz score rebound win against Saudi Arabia
Published on 18 November 2020
Photo: Jamaica Reggae Boyz
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (November 17, 2020) —Jamaica Reggae Boyz came from behind to beat hosts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the second of their two-game friendly international series at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium Tuesday.
The win marked a rebound from the 0-3 game-one loss Saturday and Coach Theodore Whitmore’s 100th match at the helm of the top-ranked Caribbean team.
Saudi Arabia went ahead in the 29th minute (Abdullah Alhamddan), and Jamaica answered when Daniel Johnson scored his first goal for Jamaica in his second outing in the 34th minute. Javon East sent the visitors ahead for good in the 64th.
The victory capped a trying tour that included a series of positive Covid-19 tests and delayed arrivals. The international friendlies signaled the resumption of the Reggae Boyz’s World Cup preparation following restrictions caused by pandemic protocols.
Coach Whitmore’s milestone match, juxtaposed against the pivotal role he played in his country’s first and only World Cup outing in 1998, was, therefore, that much more special, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said.
“This game was special for us,” Ricketts said. “Coach Whitmore has been with the team since 2007 in different capacities and has managed to rack up a great record in a very competitive region. I want to extend my personal congratulations and that of the Federation to him and hope that he will be around for at least another 100 games.”
President Ricketts added, “I want to assure the coach that he will be given all the support he needs as he tries to get us back to a World Cup final.”
The Saudi Arabia matches came as Jamaica commemorates the week in which the country first qualified for the World Cup.
Ricketts, taking a wide view of Jamaica’s football program, congratulated forward Khadija Shaw, the French Women’s League Player of the Month for October, and Reggae Boyz captain Andre Blake, named the best goalkeeper in the MLS for a second time.