Jamaica international Kemar Roofe has expressed delight with opening his goal account for the Reggae Boyz after finding the net in a 2-0 win over Honduras but believes the team started gathering momentum in the previous match.

The Rangers striker found the back of the net, for a Jamaican team desperately in need of a win, in the 36th minute after successfully deflecting an attempt from strike partner Shamar Nicholson.  A defender, Oniel Fisher, scored the team's second in the second half.

The goal was the first for Roofe in four matches, having started the last two.

“It’s a special moment for all of us, getting my first goal for my country.  I want to dedicate this to my dad, he is the reason I am playing for Jamaica,” Roofe said.

“It was massive for the team to get the three points.  I think it all stems from the game against Canada.  We didn’t get the three points but we got the draw and we came out of that game with solidarity and belief and a lot of respect as well and we brought it into tonight’s game.”

The Reggae Boyz battled to a 0-0 draw with Canada at the National Stadium on Sunday.  The win sees Jamaica move to five points and 6th position, three points outside of the fourth spot, which is currently occupied by Panama.

The Jamaica Football Federation has revealed that Shamar Nicholson suffered a facial fracture during Charleroi FC’s 1-0 loss to Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday.

However, the player will be able to continue playing this season and in the upcoming world cup qualifiers with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson was forced to leave the field in the second half of the match after he was hit in the face during a violent collision with Brandon Mechele.

The striker jumped to head a ball on goal but Mechele,  the Club Brugge defender, in challenging for the ball, headed Nicholson in the jaw, rendering the Jamaican unconscious for a short time. Reports on the incident said Nicholson tried to play on after regaining consciousness but was unable to continue and was substituted.

Immediately afterwards, club officials feared Nicholson have suffered a broken jaw but were awaiting the results of additional tests. Their fears were proven valid as Reggae Boyz team manager Roy Simpson confirmed this morning that Nicholson suffered a minor fracture but will be able to continue playing this season with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson scored both of Jamaica’s goals in the Reggae Boyz first three World Cup qualifiers in the Octogonal round. He scored Jamaica’s only goal in Jamaica’s 2-1 loss to Mexico and scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in San Jose.

Jamaica’s next round of qualifiers begins on October 7 against the United States. The Reggae Boyz then take on Canada on October 10 before facing Honduras on October 13.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have fallen 20 points in the latest FIFA Coco-Cola World Rankings following a dismal start to the CONCACAF World Cup qualification campaign.

The national team began the hexagonal round with a 2-1 loss to the region’s top-ranked team Mexico but followed that up with a heavy 3-0 loss at home to Panama.  The team then ended the first round with a 1-1 draw away to Costa Rica.

As far as rankings go, the poor start has proved costly with the team currently ranked at 59th and outside of the world’s top 50 teams for the first time in several years.

In the meantime, teams like Canada and Panama who are off to a strong start to the final round have headed in the other direction.  After jumping 16 places, Canada is now ranked above Jamaica at 51st, with Panama jumping 23 points to 68th

Mexico remains the region’s top-ranked team at 9th, followed by the United States at 13th and then Costa Rica at 44th.  The World Cup qualifier will resume next month with Jamaica travelling away to face the USA, hosting Canada at home before travelling away to face Honduras.

 

Jamaica Reggae Boyz defender, Damion Lowe, insists the team understands the frustration fans are experiencing following a slow start to the World Cup qualifiers but maintains the race to advance from the region has only just begun.

The Jamaica national team, who are looking to get to the World Cup for the first time in over 23 years, find themselves at the bottom of the eight-team group after the first three games.  The Boyz opened with a 2-1 loss away to Mexico, followed by a damaging 3-0 home loss to Panama.

The Jamaicans did, however, stage a recovery of sorts with a 1-1 draw away to Costa Rica.  The team is at this point, however, six points behind leaders Mexico who top the table with 7 and four behind the trio of Canada, the United States, and Panama who are currently in the qualifying spots, all tied on five points.  Lowe has, however, assured fans the team is far from out of the running.

“Every team goes through struggles and rough patches, unfortunately, ours was at the start of the qualifiers, but it only gives us fire in our belly and keeps us humble,” Lowe told SportsMax.TV’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“If you look at the table we are not far off, people are tying, people are losing.  You saw Honduras, USA game, anything can happen, Concacaf is one of the hardest to qualify out of.  It’s all up in the air, nothing is decided, it’s only three games in,” he added.

 

 Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz got their first points of the CONCACAF World Cup final round, with a hard-fought 1-1 draw to Costa Rica, which was a tale of two halves.

Costa Rica went ahead early, but Jamaica found an answer to force the teams to split a point Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica took the lead in the third minute when Bryan Ruiz weighed up a beautiful ball for Jonathan Moya on the back post. The attacker Moya spotted Jimmy Marin making a run and used his head to set Marin up for an easy shot over the line, with Jamaica GK Andre Blake still working to defend a potential shot from Moya on the post.

Yet, Jamaica was able to find an equalizer just after the halftime break. Left-back Kemar Lawrence got into the final third with the ball and plenty of space in the 47th minute and teed up a cross for Shamar Nicholson. Nicholson didn’t hit his header entirely cleanly, but that seemed to flummox goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and Nicholson was off to celebrate his second goal of World Cup qualification.

Costa Rica was on the break again in the 68th minute, with Marin breaking free, but his touch took him too wide and Jamaica was able to recover from the danger.

There was danger on Navas’ net in the 87th minute, with the former Concacaf Goalkeeper of the Year making a pair of interventions, including using his legs to sweep away a ball that Javon East was attempting to control in the box.

It’s the first point Jamaica has earned in qualification, with the Reggae Boyz set to look for more points in October when they travel to face the U.S.

 Costa Rica’s first match of the October window is away to Honduras and the Ticos will look to add to the pair of points they amassed in September.

Defender Kemar Lawrence and forward Norman Campbell have joined the rest of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz after facing immigration issues upon arrival in Costa Rica.

Lawrence and Campbell were initially denied entry into the South American country on arrival based on residency documentation issues.  Based on the country’s immigration laws four groups of countries can enter the country with or without a visa.  Group one states that citizens of these countries do not require a Costa Rican visa. They only need a valid passport with at least one day left on arrival in Costa Rica with a return ticket.

Lawrence is a United States green card holder and Campbell is a citizen of Slovenia.  Residents of both countries are in the group allowed entry into Costa Rica without a visa.  Lawrence, however, lost his official green card documentation during the Gold Cup.   

Campbell's visa was expired, and Costa Rica immigration did not accept evidence of his Slovenian residency.  He did not have a Slovenia passport in his possession.  Since losing his documents Lawrence has received written permission to travel in the form of a stamp in his passport from US Homeland Security.  It was, however, not accepted by the Costa Rica embassy.

Assistance was, however, sought through diplomatic channels, through Jamaica’s Ambassador out of Mexico with responsibility for Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Ambassador in Jamaica, as well as Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, the Honourable Olivia Grange. The efforts eventually led to the relevant government minister in Costa Rica signing off on allowing both players to enter the country.

The Jamaican team has had a torrid start to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers following a narrow 2-1 loss to Mexico and 3-0 thrashing at home at the hands of Panama.  The team will look to get things on track in tomorrow night’s encounter against Costa Rica at 8:00 pm.

Michail Antonio, Leon Bailey and Ravel Morrison will not be available for Jamaica’s World Cup qualifying opener against Mexico on Thursday as the Jamaica Football Federation tries to navigate a Covid-19 minefield laid by the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Jamaica international and Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson has reflected positively on his time at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and believes it was good background preparation for the upcoming English Championship season.

The 28-year-old was part of the Jamaica Reggae Boyz squad that bowed out of the competition following a 1-0 loss to the United States in the quarterfinals.  Johnson, who made his debut last year in a 3-0 loss to Saudi Arabia, played all four games for the team at the tournament and was named Jamaica’s man-of-match against Costa Rica.

“It was my first experience of a tournament and was lovely to be part of.  It was a different experience playing against international players and the games had a different feel than league games over here,” Johnson told the Lancashire Post.

“The first two games in the group which we won against Suriname and Guadeloupe, we controlled.  In terms of building up my fitness ready for this season, the tournament was brilliant,” he added.

 “I played 90 minutes in the first two games, 85 in the third, and then 90 minutes in the quarter-finals. That was a big boost having missed the back end of last season.”

Preston will kick off its English Football League (EFL) against Reading on Saturday.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have established themselves as genuine title contenders in the flagship Concacaf Gold Cup.

Over the three consecutive editions, the Jamaicans were beaten finalists in 2015 (3-1 to Mexico) and 2017 (2-1 to the United States), and were losing semi-finalists in 2019 (3-1 to the U.S.), performances that underline their pedigree in the biennial tournament.

Having come so close to being crowned champions, the only thing left for the Reggae Boyz at this stage it seems is to lift the trophy.

Still, veteran Damion Lowe says while the team will be targeting the title, it’s a goal they aim to pursue with an air of cautious optimism, and with as little pressure as possible.

“There is no pressure because people always write us off, and even now people don’t give us the recognition that we deserve and how good we are as a team, especially in tournaments,” he said.

“Nobody expected us to become a powerhouse in Concacaf as we started from scratch and built the programme,” Lowe added.

When Jamaica kick-starts its Group C campaign against Suriname at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on July 12, Lowe notes that the plan is to let the country’s football do the talking.

“So for us, the job is the same and that’s to prove people wrong. We will do our best and let the football speak for itself,” said the Al-Ittihad defender, who will be participating in his third Gold Cup tournament.

Lowe, 28, says he has grown to love playing in the Gold Cup.

“Playing in the Gold Cup tournament is always a joy. We are grateful for the experience and how far we have come as a nation and we just want to move on to higher heights,” he said.

The Jamaicans, who are currently hosting a pre-tournament training camp in Orlando, have quality within their ranks with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon and Bailey and former Manchester United wonder kid Ravel Morrison.

With the pair, plus a host of English-born players and local-bred talent, the Boyz are quite capable of ruffling more than just a few feathers in the 2021 edition of the confederation’s marquee competition.

The Boyz also have group stage matches against Costa Rica and Guadeloupe.

Meanwhile, Lowe says he is still getting used to life playing in the Egyptian topflight.

 

Jerome Waite, the assistant coach to the Jamaica senior football team is to be assigned to another national team following a decision of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Waite is to be replaced by Merron Gordon, a past assistant coach at the National Under 23 level and former Head Coach for the Senior women's team. Gordon will join the recently appointed Assistant Coach Paul Hall in this position. Both assistant coaches will join Head Coach Theodore Whitmore at the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.

There is no word on where Waite will end up.

The decision was taken to re-assign Waite at the quarterly board meeting held on Tuesday, June 29, after it approved a recommendation from the Technical and Development Committee (T&DC).

Coach Waite had previously served at the National Under 20 and Under 23 levels and a final decision on the re-assignment is to be recommended by the committee.

The JFF said the decision regarding Coach Waite's reassignment was a decision of the Board of Directors, the only legitimate body that can take that decision, and that Head Coach Whitmore was not involved in the decision.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will begin the Hexagonal final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers away to Mexico City at the famous Azteca Stadium.

Four days later they will host Panama at Kingston’s National Stadium, before travelling to Costa Rica two days later to close out the first round of games.

The opening round of games will take place between September 2-8.  The Jamaicans will be the only Caribbean team in the final round of the qualifiers.  The Reggae Boyz, along with Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, and Honduras automatically advanced to the final round based on their FIFA rankings.  Panama, Canada, and El Salvador took part in an additional round to reach the final stage.

A face-off against CONCACAF’s top-ranked team will be a tough start for the Jamaicans who will be looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.  The Jamaicans have never won a match at the venue but came away with a point from a 0-0 draw the last time the teams met there, in the qualifiers, in 2013. 

The game will, however, be hosted with no fans, after the team was ordered to play their next two official home games behind closed doors, as a consequence of anti-gay chants heard during matches against the Dominican Republic and the United States, played in Guadalajara on March 18 and 24.

The team was also fined $65,000 and further sanctions were threatened, including a possible points reduction.

 

 

CONCACAF Hexagonal Round fixtures

 Matchday 1 - Thursday, September 2

  • Canada vs. Honduras
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. Costa Rica
  • Mexico vs. Jamaica

Matchday 2 - Sunday, September 6

  • United States vs. Canada
  • El Salvador vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. Mexico
  • Jamaica vs. Panama

Matchday 3 - Wednesday, September 8

  • Canada vs. El Salvador
  • Honduras vs. United States
  • Panama vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Jamaica

Matchday 4 - Thursday, October 7

  • Mexico vs. Canada
  • Honduras vs. Costa Rica
  • El Salvador vs. Panama
  • United States vs. Jamaica

Matchday 5 - Sunday, October 10

  • Jamaica vs. Canada
  • Mexico vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. United States

Matchday 6 - Wednesday, October 13

  • Canada vs. Panama
  • Honduras vs. Jamaica
  • El Salvador vs. Mexico
  • United States vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 7 - Friday, November 12

  • Canada vs. Costa Rica
  • Honduras vs. Panama
  • El Salvador vs. Jamaica
  • United States vs. Mexico

Matchday 8 - Tuesday, November 16

  • Canada vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Honduras
  • Panama vs. El Salvador
  • Jamaica vs. United States

Matchday 9 - Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Honduras vs. Canada
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Mexico

Matchday 10 - Sunday, January 30, 2022

  • Canada vs. United States
  • Honduras vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. Costa Rica
  • Panama vs. Jamaica

Matchday 11 - Wednesday, February 2, 2022

  • El Salvador vs. Canada
  • United States vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 12 - Thursday, March 24, 2022

  • Costa Rica vs. Canada
  • Panama vs. Honduras
  • Jamaica vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. United States

Matchday 13 - Sunday, March 27, 2022

  • Canada vs. Jamaica
  • Honduras vs. Mexico
  • El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
  • United States vs. Panama

Matchday 14 - Wednesday, March 30, 2022

  • Panama vs. Canada
  • Jamaica vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. United States

International football player and captain of the ‘Reggae Boyz’, Damion Lowe, has joined the star-studded lineup of Digicel brand ambassadors.

An experimental Jamaica Reggae Boyz squad were thoroughly outclassed by the Japanese Olympic team, in a 4-0 loss, at the Tokyo Stadium, on Saturday morning.

Far from the competent display put on against the Serbian squad a few days earlier, the mix and match Jamaica team struggled to shift out of first gear and barely managed a shot on goal for 90 minutes.

The Samurai Blue, on the other hand, were razor-sharp and moved the ball with pace and purpose throughout the encounter.  Although a bit fortuitous, it was hardly a surprise when the Asian squad took the lead through Takefusa Kubo.  His fierce 32nd-minute strike, fired from inside the area to the left of the goal, went through the legs of four defenders before also going through Jamaica goalkeeper Dillion Barnes, who seemed unsighted.

The swarming Japanese increased the lead further 10 minutes later when Wataru Endo, given space just outside the 18-year area, used it to his advantage with geometric precision as he curled a shot high to the left of a fully outstretched Barnes.

Any hopes of a comeback were killed off early in the second half when substitute Ayase Ueda ran on to a defense-splitting pass, from the centre of midfield, and cheekily dinked over an onrushing Barnes to make the score 3-0 in the 58th minute.  The rout was completed in a simplistic fashion, in the 64th minute, when a loosely marked Ritsu Doan picked up the ball five yards from goal before pivoting to blast it into the net.

The match marked the end of what was supposed to be a three-match tour for the Jamaica team, where the first match against the Japan national team was cancelled after a COVID-19 testing mix-up led to the Caribbean squad not having enough players.

Rangers forward and prospective Jamaica international, Kemar Roofe, has seen an appeal to reduce a four-match UEFA competition ban rejected, after an egregious tackle on Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar.

The incident happened during Rangers' 2-0 Europa League defeat, at the hands of the Czech side, back in March.  Roofe was given a straight red card after firmly planting the bottom of his boots into the face of the keeper as the duo clashed in an aerial duel.

Kolar was left with lacerations and a fractured skull, but Rangers believed the punishment taken against the player was too harsh.  UEFA, however, upheld the decision.

“The appeal lodged by Rangers FC has been dismissed,” the release read.

“Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body's (CEDB) decision of 13 April 2021 is confirmed,” it continued.

 “The CEDB had decided to suspend Rangers FC player, Mr. Kemar Roofe, for four (4) UEFA club competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for dangerously assaulting another player.”

The UK-born Roofe, who is believed to be in the process of securing documentation to represent the Jamaican national team, will miss the start of Rangers’ Champions League qualifying bid, which kicks off on August 3.

Retired Jamaica international, Jobi McAnuff, has officially called time on his professional career, finally pulling the curtains on a journey that has spanned some 20 seasons.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who spent the final year of his career as player-coach for EFL League Two outfit Leyton Orient, played his final game against Carlise, on May 1, which ended in a 3-2 home defeat for Orient.

McAnuff, who also played 32 games for the Jamaica national team, believes the time had simply come to hang up his boots.

“After 20 seasons and nearly 800 career games, the time has finally come to announce my retirement,” McAnuff said via social media platform Instagram.

“It’s been a tough decision, but my body and mind have finally had enough of the rigours of day-to-day football and I definitely feel now is the right time to hang the boots up,” he added.

“I’ve put in a lot of work over the last few years to make sure I was as prepared as I could be for this day and I look forward confidently and excitedly to the next phase of my professional life.”

Despite having taken over as coach for Orient’s final 16 fixtures, while also playing in midfield, McAnuff will not be continuing on as the team’s coach.  Orient finished in 11th position.

 

 

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