December 2, 2010
Reggae Boyz bash Guyana
Audley Boyd, Assistant Sports Editor
The Reggae Boyz waltzed into the semi-finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC), hammering Guyana 4-0 in the second game of a double-header at the Riviere Pilote Stadium last night.
St George's College schoolboy Marvin Morgan Jr (49th, 75th) playing in his second international, led the scoring with a double after gracing the pitch at half-time. Dane Richards (43rd) and Eric Vernan, MVP of the last DCC, rounded off the scoring at the 90th minute.
Victory catapulted Jamaica to the maximum nine points from their three Group I matches, and they will now play the second-place team from Group H, Grenada, in the second semi-final tomorrow night, at the Pierre Aliker, Dillon Stadium, starting at 8:30 (7:30 Jamaica time).
Guyana, who started the game on one point, were hoping to win to have a chance of advancing to the semis.
However, their loss meant Guadeloupe, who beat Antigua and Barbuda 1-0 in last night's opening game, for which Jean Luc lamboude was credited for scoring at the 41st minute, though it appeared to have been an own goal by Antigua and Barbuda's Akeem Thomas.
That win lifted Guadeloupe to four points and ensured hometown semi-final representation, after Martinique were eliminated from Group H qualification.
In tomorrow's first semi-final, at 5:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. Jamaica time), Guadeloupe will play Cuba, the Group H winners.
The semi-finalists are the same from the 2008 tournament that was staged in Kingston, and all four have also qualified for next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament that will be held in the United States.
In last night's game, Jamaica, with six changes to the starting team, established clear control from kick-off and dominated possession with some very patient passing, as they kept the ball on the floor and moved it around the pitch quite comfortably, mostly inside their half of the pitch.
This was despite Guyana's best attempts to force turnovers as they pressed high, oftentimes in numbers, knowing full well that they had to win the game to advance.
In the ensuing sequence, Jamaica found it difficult to break down the Guyana defence and actually got the first scare of the match, when a long clearance forced a back header, to which goalkeeper Richard McCallum had to race off his line to clear just ahead of Guyana striker Dwight Peters, who got injured in the process and had to be forced into substitution before the first half was complete.
Jamaica gradually began to improve their offensive play, making more forays into the final third of the pitch. It was not until the 21st minute that they took their first strike on goal, a wayward kick from Richards, which sailed wide.
It was not a quality chance, but those that followed were far clearer and coincided with a Jamaican gear change.
Two wide-open chances were made three minutes apart. On 28 minutes, Richard Edwards crossed to Ryan Johnson at the far post and he headed wide. Then three minutes later, Luton Shelton cut inside the penalty box, opened a wide angle then shot straight at keeper Ronson Williams.
The Reggae Boyz continued to probe and scored to break the deadlock from a dead-ball situation, after Shelton was brought down. Keammar Daley drove the ensuing free kick to the far post and Adrian Reid headed back inside for Richards, who could not miss a simple goal line header at the 43rd minute.
Guyana got one chance to equalise before the break, but Shawn Beveney could not connect cleanly on a long free kick from Dwayne Jacobs.
Jamaica introduced two schoolboys for the restart, St George's College's Morgan and Glenmuir High's Sergio Campbell, the nephew of starting central midfielder Rodolph Austin, increasing the number of non-starters to seven.
That number swelled to eight with the introduction of O'Brian Woodbine for Luton Shelton at the 52nd minute.
By then, the Boyz had doubled their score, at the 49th minute through Morgan, who was to have an impact on the remainder of the night's proceedings, as he scored twice and made an assist on the other goals.
Both Morgan's goals were a carbon copy of the same combination and plays, Johnson cutting back passes from the goal line for the former to tuck away from inside the six-yard box, with the latter coming at the 75th minute.
Morgan contributed again by slipping a beautiful pass between the full back and the centre half, Vernan sped into the box, cut back the ball to open the angle then hit a high shot into the goal.