Reggae Boyz Slump 2-0 to USA in World Cup Qualifiers

By L Bronson

reggae boyz usa
Jamaica's Damion Lowe (17) reacts as United States' Ricardo Pepi (16) celebrates his goal during a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Reggae Boyz slipped further away from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after slumping to a 2-0 defeat to the US at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, yesterday.

Two second-half goals by striker Ricardo Pepi proved enough for the Americans who moved to the top of the eight-team points standings with eight points, on goal difference, alongside Mexico, who was held 1-1 at home to Canada.

Canada inched up to third place on six points, ahead of Panama, who was joined on five points by El Salvador who ambushed them 1-0.

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Costa Rica and Honduras follow on three points each after both played to a 0-0 stalemate, and Jamaica rooted at the foot of the table with just one point.

The US dominated possession in the first half but could not make its dominance count with any meaningful efforts on goal.

Jamaica actually got closest to opening the scoring when Tyreek Magee had goalkeeper Matt Turner flying high at the long-range shot which sailed narrowly wide.

At just before the break Jamaican striker Shamar Nicholson placed a firm header just off target.

The Americans had no such difficulty in the second half as Pepi opened the scoring three minutes in when he was left unmarked between the Jamaican centre back pair of Damion Lowe and Adrian Mariappa to plant a firm close-range header out of the reach of Andre Blake.

And the Jamaicans didn’t seem to have learnt their lesion as Pepi was presented with an easier opportunity to stab home again from close range from a left-sided cross.

From then on the home side took complete control and had it not been for a few near misses, the Americans would have run away with an even more comfortable victory.

The Reggae Boyz will return home today to prepare for Canada at Kingston’s National Stadium on Sunday.

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