Mexico moved into the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals after a 3-0 win over Panama on Friday.

Raul Jimenez continued his goalscoring form at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez, netting a brace.

Jimenez needed just eight minutes to score in Panama City before wrapping up Mexico's victory from the penalty spot after he had set up Edson Alvarez.

It marked Mexico's third win in as many games in Group B of League A as Gerardo Martino's men joined Honduras in the semi-finals.

Panama almost took a shock lead, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa making a low save to deny Gabriel Torres after an Alberto Quintero cross from the right.

However, Mexico opened the scoring as they dominated most of the first half.

In a move that started with Ochoa, Roberto Alvarado teed up Jimenez, who side-footed into the bottom corner from inside the area in the eighth minute.

Mexico had chances to double their lead in the opening 20 minutes, Alvarado and Jimenez squandering opportunities, the latter denied by Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon.

The visitors continued to push for a second and they found it with 20 minutes remaining through Alvarez.

After a set-piece was partly cleared, Jimenez curled in a beautiful cross from the right for Alvarez to tuck in from close range.

Mexico were awarded a late penalty after Anibal Mello brought down substitute Uriel Antuna as the attacker ran onto a long pass.

Jimenez stepped up to convert the penalty, completing his brace and wrapping up a deserved win for Mexico.

 

What does it mean? Semi-final spot booked

Mexico moved into the semi-finals courtesy of their latest win. In a group featuring Panama and Bermuda, there was never any real doubt for Mexico, who will surely be hoping tougher tests await.

Jimenez stays hot

The Wolves forward is in form for club and country. Jimenez has now scored in six of his past seven games since mid-October, good signs for both Mexico and the Premier League club.

Is Nations League pointless for Mexico?

Mexico may be left wondering exactly what they can get out of the Nations League. Competitive against South American nations, Martino's men have been left to play both Panama and Bermuda twice due to the introduction of the Nations League in CONCACAF, rather than testing themselves against bigger countries.

What's next?

Mexico finish their group-stage campaign at home to Bermuda on Tuesday, while Panama will next be in action in 2020.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz cruised to a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda in the CONCACAF Nations League at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda on Friday.

In the lively Group C fixture, it was the visiting Jamaicans who looked the more menacing team early on but were plagued by inaccurate passes and poor finishing in the final third.  Despite being good value for a lead, when they did take one in the 34th minute it was somewhat fortuitously.  Maalique Foster emerged from a thicket of players to knock the ball into an unguarded net after Antigua goalkeeper Molvin James had spilled an Alvas Powell shot from a tough angle.

The Jamaicans continued to enjoy dominance in possession, but the hosts also put positive spell together, despite lacking a cutting edge in the final third. 

The Reggae Boyz doubled their lead in the 58th minute after Ricardo Morris slammed the ball high into the roof of the net after being played through from a well-weighted Shamar Nicholson pass.  The Benna Boys threatened to at least get a consolation goal late on but D’Andre Bishop saw his 82nd minute shot charged down by the Jamaica backline.

The win saw Jamaica extended their lead to a perfect 15 points with 5 matches played in the group and secured their spot to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

 

 

A goal from Player of the Match Chantimoi Taylor and an own goal propelled St.George’s College to a 2-0 win over defending champions Hydel High in the quarter-finals of the Walker Cup at Stadium East in Kingston on Friday.


Contrasting half-centuries from their captain Jonathan Carter and opener Leniko Boucher powered Barbados Pride to their second successive win over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in three days in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup on Friday.

West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor said she is eagerly anticipating playing in the 2019 edition of the Courts Women’s T20 Grand Slam Franchise Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago.

West Indies women’s seven-wicket loss to India at Providence on Wednesday meant the visitors took an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-match T20I series.

BB Coke advanced to the final of the ISSA Ben Francis Cup on Thursday after coming from behind to defeat Manchester High School at the Juici Field in Clarendon, Jamaica.

A brisk half-century from Nitish Kumar pushed Canada to a massive 100-runs win over the Combined Colleges and Campuses at the Conaree Sports Club, in St Kitts, on Thursday.

The top-order batsman plundered 14 boundaries in 102 runs from 99 deliveries, as the Canadians scored their first win of the season.  Batting first, the Canadians suffered an early set back after losing opener Shereyas Movva, who made 2 runs, with just four runs on the board.

Kumar joined Mehta at the crease to, however, stage an immediate recovery as the pair put on 80 for the second wicket.  The partnership was broken when Mehta was run out.  Another big partnership between Shahid Ahmadzai (73) who joined Kumar to put on 103 for the third wicket put the Canadian in a strong position.  Kumar was eventually dismissed after being caught by Sadique Henry off the bowling of Yax Patel, leaving the team at 187 for 3.  With more further partnerships of note, however, the Canadians lost their last seven-wicket for 31 runs.

In reply, the Combined Colleges and Campuses (CCC) lost wickets at regular intervals with Jonathan Drakes putting up the most resistance with 40 runs from 52 balls.  Akeem Jordan was the next best with 37 from 50 runs.

Canadian bowlers Kadeem Sana and Kanwar Mann took two wickets each.

 

A.R. Srikkanth, one of the world’s leading T20 cricket analysts, has been appointed as the new West Indies Men’s Team Analyst, on a two-year contract.

Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

Another devasting spell from pacer Keon Harding powered the West Indies Emerging Players to a nail-biting 10-runs win over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain, on Tuesday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Emerging Players, anchored by a patient 80 from middle-order batsman Justin Greaves, put 243 runs on the board before being all out.  The team got off to a shaky start after losing opener Gidron Pope for a duck, with just four runs on the board.

Joshua Da Silva (34) joined opener Kimani Melius (39) at the crease and the pair put on 67 for the second wicket.  The partnership ended when Melius was dismissed lbw by Imran Khan.  Greaves, however, then steadied the ship putting on another 93 runs in a partnership with Yannic Cariah.  A late innings collapse, following the dismissal of Greaves, who was caught by Smith off the bowling of Jon-Russ Jaggesar, eroded some of the team’s early work.  Jaggesar was the top bowler after claiming figures of 3 for 33.

In response, Trinidad and Tobago were immediately on the back foot after Harding dismissed Tion Webster for a duck with just two runs on the board.  His opening partner Jeremy Solozano followed soon after, caught for 17 by Keon Harding off the bowling of  Ashmead Nedd.  Kyle Hope (34) and Darren Bravo (34), however, came together to repair some of the early damage as they put on 59 for the third wicket before Hope was caught by Harding off Melius.  A determined stand by Yannick Ottley, however, kept Red Force in the game but his brave 71 off 80 balls proved just short as he was run out with just 10 runs remaining to get.

 

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