A trip for the Jamaica men’s national team that has been rocked by a number off-the-field setbacks suffered a big blow on the turf when Saudi Arabia pummelled them 3-0 in an international friendly on Saturday.
The Reggae Boyz preparations for the contest were disrupted by a dispute over match fees, shoddy treatment of players and three players testing positive for the COVID-19 virus that all threatened to derail coach Theodore Whitmore’s plan.
But the embattled Boyz took to the field and found themselves under pressure from early, when Salem Al-Dawsari put the home team ahead after 10 minutes.
The Jamaicans, ranked 48th in the world, had plenty possession of the ball throughout the match, but Saleh Al-Shehri added a goal one minute before halftime and Firas Al-Buraikan slammed the door shut for the 67th-ranked Saudis in the 77th minute.
This was the first of two international friendlies for the Reggae Boyz in Saudi Arabia, where they will play the same opponents this coming Tuesday at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, hoping to give a significantly improved performance.
The Boyz had no shots on target, but the hosts made them pay, taking advantage of the six they had to make good.