Jamaica's assistant coach, John Wall, voiced strong criticism following the Reggae Boyz's 3-2 win over Dominica in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Sunday. Despite securing three points, Wall expressed disappointment with Jamaica's performance and the substandard condition of the pitch at Windsor Park.

"The result was better than the performance," Wall stated bluntly. "We should have killed this game a lot earlier based on the chances that we had. The conversion rate was low. The best of it was the result—we got away with three points."

The state of the pitch was another sore point for Wall, who didn't mince words about its impact on the game. "It was more based on the pitch," he said regarding the slow tempo of Jamaica’s play. "There was a lot more to ask for. It was a 120m in depth and 72/75m wide; that’s a cricket pitch. For me, it’s not up to standard."

Reflecting on the match, Wall acknowledged Dominica's commendable performance and their effective counter-attacks. "Overall, Dominica performed well, and counter-attacked with the two, three players that they had up front. But overall we should have contained the game much better and just finished it off with the chances that we had," he added.

Jamaica entered the match on a high note following their 1-0 victory against the Dominican Republic in Kingston on June 6. However, despite creating numerous scoring opportunities, the Reggae Boyz struggled to find the net until the 31st minute when Shamar Nicholson broke the deadlock.

Kaheim Dixon doubled Jamaica’s lead just before halftime, scoring from close range to send the team into the break with a 2-0 advantage. The second half mirrored the first, with Jamaica continuing to squander opportunities. Dixon missed a glaring chance by hitting the upright from inside the box, while Nicholson also failed to convert several chances, often thwarted by goalkeeper Glenson Prince.

With 10 minutes remaining, Nicholson finally added a third goal from the penalty spot after a Dominica defender handled the ball inside the box. This goal proved crucial as Dominica mounted a late comeback.

Javid George capitalized on a counter-attack, beating an advancing Jahmali Waite and scoring into an empty net. Moments later, Troy Jules fired in a stunning free kick from just outside the 18-yard box, making it 3-2.

Nicholson had a chance to secure the win but lobbed the ball over the advancing Prince and the crossbar, leaving Jamaica to hold on for a nervy finish.

 

 

 

Kaheim Dixon, the talented young footballer currently representing Arnett Gardens in the Jamaica Premier League, is preparing to make a crucial decision about his future once the season concludes. Dixon, who has garnered interest from several European clubs and who has a preference for playing in Belgium, is weighing his options as he looks to further his career on the international stage.

An exciting prospect while playing for DaCosta Cup champions, Clarendon College, Dixon's impressive performances on the field have caught the attention of scouts and club representatives, sparking discussions about potential opportunities abroad. With a strong desire to continue his development in a competitive environment, Dixon sees Europe as an ideal destination to advance his skills with Belgium being his preferred destination.

"I'm focused on finishing the Jamaica Premier League season with Arnett Gardens before considering my next move," Dixon told Sportsmax.TV.

Dixon's decision-making process will involve consultations with his club officials and discussions with his family to determine the best path forward for his career but explains his preference for where he would like to end up.

"Playing in Belgium appeals to me because of their commitment to developing young players."

Dixon made his senior debut for Jamaica’s Reggae Boys during the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League against regional powerhouse, the United States and acquitted himself fairly well. His performance also convinced him that he is ready to play professional football.

Reflecting on his CONCACAF Nations League campaign, Dixon shared insights from his experience. "I learned a lot. You have to be disciplined on and off the field," Dixon remarked. "In the game, you have to adjust quickly; only dribble in the attacking third."

In response to the interest from European clubs, Dixon acknowledged the opportunity but stressed the need for continuous improvement. For now, though, he remains focused on winning the Jamaica Premier League title for Arnett Gardens.

"It's a good thing that clubs are interested, but I've still got to improve on my season as well," he said.

 

 

Goalkeeper Shaquan Davis and strikers Kaheim Dixon and Bailey Cadamarteri have been included in Heimir Hallgrimsson's senior Reggae Boyz side for their upcoming Concacaf Nations League (CNL) semi-final contest against United States on March 21.

Though Davis, who represents Mount Pleasant and Dixon, of Arnett Gardens, both made their senior team debut in the recent friendly series against Trinidad and Tobago, it is their first time making the Reggae Boyz Nations League roster, while British-born Cadamarteri is being called to the Jamaican set up for the first time.

The six-foot tall 18-year-old, who plays for Sheffield Wednesday, alongside another Reggae Boy Dishon Bernard, also has Italian and Irish descent, but chose to honour his Jamaican heritage.

In fact, the rising English Championship sensation was interested in playing for Ireland, but doesn’t qualify, as his great grandparents hails from the Emerald Isle.

Still, their loss is Jamaica's gain and Hallgrimsson and company will be eager to put his skills to the test at some point in time in this crucial semi-final contest. 

Cadamarteri burst onto the scene this season with three goals in 11 Championship outings for the Owls and qualifies to represent Jamaica through his father Danny Cadamarteri, who played for Everton in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Meanwhile, a notable absentee from the 23-man squad is Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey, who misses out on a spot in the squad after he was suspended for breaking curfew during the last national camp.

Squad: Andre Blake, Shaquan Davis, Jahmali Waite, Richard King, Damion Lowe, Dishon Bernard, Michael Hector, Dexter Lembikisa, Tayvon Gray, Greg Leigh, Daniel Johnson, Joel Latibeaudiere, Bobby Reid, Karoy Anderson, Kasey Palmer, Renaldo Cephas, Cory Burke, Demarai Gray, Bailey Cadamarteri, Shamar Nicholson, Michail Antonio, Jamal Lowe, Kaheim Dixon

Though pleased that his Arnett Gardens team secured three points to stick with rivals in the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) top six, Xavier Gilbert was by no means satisfied with the overall execution, especially as the season approaches the business end.

The “Junglists” were expectedly dominant in all departments in their 3-0 win over Lime Hall Academy at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday, the performance was far from polished and was in fact aided by some poor defending from their opponents in parts.

It took Marlon Buckley’s 52nd-minute own-goal to get things going, before Kaheim Dixon (54th) and Jaheim Thomas (86th) added to their respective tallies so far this season to seal the win.

With the three points, Arnett Gardens joined third-placed Tivoli Gardens and fourth-placed Portmore United on 42 points, but remain in fifth by virtue of their inferior goal difference. Reigning champions Mount Pleasant (49 points) and Cavalier (45 points) maintains the top two spots, with Dunbeholden FC (34 points) completing the top six.

For Gilbert, the fact that Arnett Gardens had 14 of 23 shots on target compared to Lime Hall, who failed to get any of their three shots on target, meant very little as the performance lacked the proficiency they are hoping to display against more competitive opponents.

“We wanted to put on a better showing to be honest. I think we were a little bit impatient in terms of our build up play because in the first half we weren’t connecting with our passes. The second half was a little better and then we managed to put them under some pressure and score some goals. But it wasn’t our best in terms of fluency, but such is the nature of the game we are just happy that we got the three points that we came for,” Gilbert said in a post-game interview.

“I think the changes in the second half made a difference, we were a little bit more positive in the middle of the park and it worked for us. Again, I am not too satisfied because you always want and expect more from your players especially at this point of the competition, but this is the squad that we have so we just have to get the players up to par as best as possible,” he added.

Despite Arnett Gardens’ dominance, Lime Hall’s goalkeeper Jahiem Williams ensured the first half ended goalless, as he came up big on a few occasions to deny Jamone Shephard and Dixon in particular.

Lime Hall’s best chance at a goal came four minutes into the resumption, when Marlon Pennicooke went on the counter, but was hesitant in getting a shot off, and was later dispossessed by two recovering defenders.

That outcome basically summed up Lime Hall’s night, as Arnett Gardens broke the deadlock three minutes later when Williams was beaten by his own defender, Buckley, who inadvertently headed in Philando Wing’s cross.

Dixon doubled the lead a minute later when he fired home after Lime Hall’s defenders failed to clear their lines.

Arnett Gardens, like a pack of hungry wolves, continued to camp out in Lime Hall’s quarters, but their hunt to add to their tally proved fruitless at that point, as Kevoan McGregor’s 69th-minute shot took a wicked deflection and came back off the left upright.

In the 79th, Williams again came up big to deny Dixon and seconds later McGregor’s stinging right-footer from a distance, rattled the crossbar.

Williams, who took flight in an attempt to keep out the shot, fell awkwardly on his way down and injured his right shoulder which forced him out the game, after he was beaten by Thomas, who fired home his fourth goal of the season from close range.

Lime Hall’s outfield player Mikolai McKoy took up goalkeeping duties, and sent the moderate crowd into frenzy, as he denied Dixon and company in quick succession, in time added.

Oshane Allen, Lime Hall’s assistant coach was left disappointed at the outcome.

“I think it was a hard-fought game but after the own goal, the team fell asleep, and we saw what came after. I have Jahiem [Williams] as the man of the match for tonight, but I guess the three goals took away from his performance. He has always been excellent for us this season and fortunately, the injury is not serious, so we are going to work on getting him ready for the next game,” Allen said.

Matchweek 22 Results

Tivoli Gardens 1, Dunbeholden 1

Portmore United 0, Waterhouse 0

Humble Lion 3, Vere United 0

Mount Pleasant 2, Cavalier 0

Harbour View 0, Molynes United 1

Montego Bay United 1, Treasure Beach 0

Arnett Gardens 3, Lime Hall Academy 0

Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve was pleased that they achieved their objective from the two-match friendly series against Jamaica, but expressed that the overall fitness of local players require significant improvements to meet international standards.

Eve's sentiments came after a goalless stalemate between his Soca Warriors and their Reggae Boyz counterparts in the second contest at the Larry Gomes Stadium, on Sunday. Jamaica won the first game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium 1-0 courtesy of a Kahiem Dixon strike.

While he singled out players such as Adrian Foncette, Rhondel Gibson, Kai Moos and central defenders Jamal Jack and Robert Primus as standout performers over the two matches, Eve, who gifted debut caps to seven players, pointed out that getting the local-based players to the desired standard remains a work in progress.

"Everything you do is about stages. Everything about life is stages. Every time you go up a level, the work is more intense. Every time you go up a different level, it means you have to be more prepared," Eve said in the post-match press conference.

"We have to look at what the international standards are and we have to work harder to get the players fitter so they will be ready to play sharper and faster. The football now is more athletic. Jamaica's coach, Heimir Hallgrimsson, is saying the league in Jamaica is too slow. I find the same thing here," he added.

Still, with the friendlies aiding in his charge to gauge players, Eve is now in a better position to identify his final squad for their crucial Copa America qualifying playoff contest against Canada on March 23.

"Sometimes people ask for players to get opportunities, and these are the opportunities we have given to them over these two matches. You get to see who could stand up to physicality and stand up to the pace of the game and stuff like that. When I say our league is a little too slow, normally I get licks for it sometimes," Eve stated.