Wed | Mar 21, 2018

End of the road for Jamaica, Haiti

Published:Sunday | September 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Panama's Jorge Samudio (left) controls the ball ahead of Jamaica's Joel McAnuff during last Friday's CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifier in Panama City. Panama won 2-0.
Jamaica's Clayton Donaldson (left) controls the ball while being closely marked by Panama's Alberto Quintero, during a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Panama City last Friday night. Panama won 2-0.


Jamaica and Haiti have been eliminated from World Cup contention after suffering painful losses in their penultimate matches of CONCACAF qualifying at separate venues Friday night.

Jamaica's World Cup dreams were smashed by a crushing 2-0 loss to Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, while Haiti's hopes died with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port Au- Prince.

Gabriel Torres and substitute Abdiel Arroyo were Panama's marksmen, scoring in the 28th minute and in the second minute of second-half stoppage time after an aggressive start by the visitors.

Jamaica repelled several close attempts at scoring until Torres put Panama ahead with a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Andre Blake from seven yards out, after receiving a pass from Alberto Quintero.


Stoppage time


Arroyo netted an insurance goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time after defender Jermaine Taylor gave away ball possession.

Panama, who have 10 points, join group leaders Costa Rica (13 points) as the two teams to advance from the group to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.

Meantime Randall Azofeifa's stunning second-half strike proved to be the difference in a fourth-round game that saw the Haitians eliminated from contention.

Haiti goalkeeper Steward Ceus punched Crisian Bolanos' left-sided corner kick beyond the semi-circle, where Azofeifa was waiting.

Azofeifa let the ball bounce off his chest before striking it perfectly from 25 yards out with his right foot off the left post and into the net.

Costa Rica will close group play on Tuesday by hosting Panama in an all-Central American battle, while Haiti will visit Jamaica the same day.