Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jamaica 0 - Mexico 0

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico, the prohibitive favorites to qualify in first place from the CONCACAF Fourth Round, welcomed Jamaica to Mexico City for each team's debut in the final round of qualifying for Brasil 2014.  Unfortunately for the home side, the stadium was not close to being filled to the brim, so the imposing environment usually expected at the Estadio Azteca never came to fruition.  Although the lion's share of shots came from Mexico, the best chance of the first period went to the Reggae Boyz.  Garath McCleary made a run down the right side of the pitch before unleashing a cross into the box.  Jobi McAnuff got enough of a touch to direct the ball over Mexico goalkeeper Jesus Corona, but the ball bounced off the crossbar.  It landed at McAnuff's feet, but his next shot was smothered by Corona.  Hector Herrera put in a well-hit shot at the Jamaica goal, but goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was up to the task.  The half ended scoreless.

Early in the period, Mexico had a point blank shot from Javier Hernandez chested away from an oncoming Ricketts after Hernandez's original attempt at a back heel finish clipped his other boot.  Jamaica should have stolen the win after a poor Andres Guardado turnover under token pressure led to Ryan Johnson being one-on-one with Coronoa, but Johnson attempted finish was breathtaking in its ineptitude, letting Mexico off the hook.  A brutal head-to-head collision left Mexico striker Oribe Peralta on the field for a few minutes at the tail end of regular time after his challenge with Nyron Nosworthy.  Jamaica were unable to pull off the complete upset, but they do earn a most unexpected point with a valiant 0-0 draw.

In the most embarrassing display of any fan group not involving racism that we have seen during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Mexican "faithful" began cheering every touch the Reggae Boyz made for a period of two minutes with around ten minutes left in the match while booing every Mexican touch vehemently.  For a national program that has achieved so much recent success, winning the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the 2012 Olympic gold, one unexpectedly poor performance should not have unleashed such a hailstorm of hatred.  The Mexican Football Federation should punish the Mexico City fans for their insolence and instead play qualifiers in cities that would be appreciative of the rare opportunity to host El Tri's matches.  The current highly successful generation of players deserves to have a supportive fan base behind them.

Honduras 3 pts +1
Costa Rica 1 pts 0
Panama 1 pts 0
Jamaica 1 pts 0
Mexico 1 pts 0
USA 0 pts -1

Match Reports:


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