Boyz advance - 'Tappa' satisfied after Suriname win
Head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore was left satisfied with Jamaica's all-important win over Suriname in their Caribbean Football Union qualifier last night in front of less than 1,000 fans inside the National Stadium.
Playing with ten men after young defender Damion Lowe - son of former Reggae Boyz player Onandi Lowe was sent off after a silly challenge, the Jamaicans managed to maintain the lead they had earlier enjoyed through Corey Burke's first-half goal, to book their place in next year's Caribbean Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments.
"We got a good result. We won and that is what we wanted to do. After the red card, we played two lines of four (players) and one upfront and it worked out for us, so I am pleased," Whitmore told The Gleaner after the final whistle.
Burke scored the game's only goal 11 minutes into the match, but with two minutes to go before the half-time break, the hosts were left a man short after Lowe - like his father had a few times in his career - was shown the red card, to set up what promised to be an anxious second half for the locals.
It was, in fact, Lowe who got the first chance for the Jamaicans, who started in a positive manner, but his header went agonisingly wide after six minutes of play.
Eleven minutes into the game, Michael Binns' raking pass found Dino Williams down the left side. Williams then beat his marker before setting up Burke, who hardly could have missed from seven yards out, sending the small set of loyalists inside the National Stadium in celebration.
Burke should have made it 2-0 a minute later, but with the Suriname goalkeeper Cladel Kohmnor at his mercy, he chose to pass to Williams as the chance went begging.
The hosts were in total control until Lowe needlessly stepped on an opponent who was on the ground and as expected, was shown a straight red card by the official.
After the break, the visitors increased their intensity in attack and looked dangerous at times with Jamaica spending most of the first 20 minutes of the period in their defensive third.
Nonetheless, the Jamaicans were never really threatened and, in the 65th minute, Binns nearly added to their lead but saw his shot rebounding off the post.
Two minutes later, Rosario Harriot had to clear off the line after goalkeeper Andre Blake left his line and the ball rebounded off the Suriname attacker Roxey Fer.
Soon after, Blake had to produce a spectacular diving save to deny Stefano Russell, who unleashed a wicked right-footed effort from inside the penalty box, which sent the Jamaican captain sprawling to his left to make the stop.
There was precious little else to worry the Jamaicans who gave away little more and held on for the win.