Reggae Boyz, Costa Rica draw 1-1

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica at the National Stadium in Kingstonon Friday night, which make their qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia a bit more difficult with three matches to go in this penultimate round.

Je-Vaughn Watson had given the Boyz a 16th minute lead to which Johnny Acosta responded with a 67th minute equaliser that gave Costa Rica a share of the points.

The Reggae Boyz have now advanced to four points while Costa Rica lead the group with seven.

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This round of CONCACAF Qualifiers comprises three groups and the top two teams from each group will play in a six-team mini-league. The top three qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the fourth place team goes into an inter-continental play-off.

The Boyz held the advantage for majority of the first half, pushing Costa Rica back into their defensive third with good passing. They were also quicker to the balls that results in them breaking up a number of their opponents’ attacks as soon as they started.

They opened the scoring when Watson slotted home after a cross by Kemar Lawrence from the left, had him getting behind his markers on the right just outside the six-yard box to head past Keylor Nevas in goal for Costa Rica.

Costa Rica came out more purposeful for the second stanza and eventually found the equaliser when Jamaica’s defenders wandered and left Christian Bolanos free on the right. He was picked out by a cross and his shot was blocked by Jamaica’s goalkeeper Andre Blake into the path of Acosta, who tapped into an open goal.

Jamaica once again took territorial advantage and pressed Costa Rica, looking for the winner, but they failed to galvanize it with a goal as the match petered out.

The teams will meet in the return leg in Costa Rica on Tuesday, March 29,  starting at 9:00 pm.


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