Boyz, El Salvador in goal-less draw in scorching Texas


Saturday, June 22, 2019

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HOUSTON, Texas — Jamaica turned in a much improved second half, but just could not get a goal in their 0-0 draw with EL Salvador in the second game during the preliminary phase of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament here inside BBVA Stadium yesterday.

After a lacklustre first half where the Central Americans dominated possession and were more committed even without actually threatening Andre Blake's goal, the Reggae Boyz might have been inspired by Head Coach Theodore Whitmore's half-time lecture as they were much the better team, especially after the double substitutions.

The result ahead of the second game between Honduras and Curacao leaves Jamaica atop Group C on goal difference over El Salvador on four points, with Honduras and Curacao pointless.

Jamaica defeated Honduras 3-2 after El Salvador had edged Curacao 1-0 in Monday's opening-round games inside Kingston's National Stadium.

The four teams will depart Houston today for Los Angeles, California, ahead of next Tuesday's final-round games inside Banc of California Stadium.

The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the quarter-finals, where the winners of Group C play the runners-up of Group D while the winners of Group D oppose the runners-up of Group C.

Played in front of a sell-out 22,026 spectators in temperatures of 88 degrees Fahrenheit, which felt more like 99 degrees Fahrenheit with 67 per cent humidity, neither goalkeeper had anything to do in the first half but to restart play from wayward shots or passes which went out of play.

And the temperatures should not be used as an excuse as there were two water breaks midway each half.

But the Jamaicans really came to life in the second half when Darren Mattocks and Shamar Nicholson were introduced for Dever Orgill and Brian Brown, respectively.

Nicholson in particular proved more than a handful, and everything Jamaica did well came from his initiative. In fact the Reggae Boyz's first shot in anger and on target came off the former Boys' Town striker, but a defender got in the way to block his rasping effort.

He was at it again when he cut back for the onrushing Junior Flemmings to fire goalwards, but goalkeeper Henry Hernandez got down smartly to block the goal-bound pile driver.

During that period of dominance, central defender Shaun Francis also tested Hernandez with a long range shot which the goalkeeper tipped over, forcing both teams to settle for a share of the points.

Teams : Jamaica - Andre Blake, Kemar Lawrence, Shaun Francis, Damion Lowe, Alvas Powell, Andre Lewis, Michael Hector, Junior Flemmings (Ricardo Morris 86th), Leon Bailey, Dever Orgill (Darren Mattocks 66th) Brian Brown (Shamar Nicholson 66th).

Subs not used : Dwayne Miller, Amal Knight, Jamoi Topey, Maalique Foster, Je-Vaughn Watson, Peter Lee Vassell, Tyreek Magee, Kevon Lambert, Devon Williams

Booked : Orgill (48th), Flemmings (60th), Lowe (84th)

El Salvador – Henry Hernandez, Roberto Dominguez, Ivan Mancia, Narciso Orellana (Marvin Monterroza 83rd), Darwin Ceren, Nelson Bonilla, Carlos, Portillo (Jaime Alas 67th), Andres Flores (Gerson Mayan 46th), Jonathan Jiminez, Oscar Ceren, Bryan Tamacas

Subs not used: Kevin Carabantes, Oscar Pleitez, Xavier Garcia, Alexander Mendoza, David Rugamos, Santos Ortiz, Brayan Paz, Ruben Marroquin, Diego Coca

Booked : Dominguez (10th), Darwin Ceren (42nd), Jiminez (90th)

Referee : John Pitti (Panama)

Assistant referee 1: Gerson Lopez (Guatemala)

Assistant referee 2 : Henri Pupiro (Nicaragua)

Fourth official : Diego Montano (Mexico)

Referee assessor : John Nielsen (Canada)

Match commissioner : Manuel Quintanilla (Nicaragua)

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