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Stabroek News



More misery in Mexico
published: Sunday | September 7, 2008

Audley Boyd, Assistant Sport Editor


Mexican players celebrate their first goal against Jamaica in Mexico City yesterday. The hosts won 3-0. - AP

MEXICO CITY, Mexico:

DIFFERENT DAY, same losing result for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz against the hosts here yesterday in the Azteca Stadium.

It ended 3-0 in the CONCACAF Group Two World Cup qualifier, Jamaica's seventh outing at the venue. It followed defeats in 1972 (4-0), 1993 (6-1), 1996 (2-1), 1997 (6-0), 2004 (4-0) and 2003 (5-0).

Perfect six

The latest result kept the quadrangular group leaders Mexico on a perfect six points from two matches as they beat Honduras 2-1 in their first game. Jamaica, who drew their first game 1-1 in Canada, remain on one.

Andres Guardado (second), Fernando Arce (33rd) and Jonny Magallon (63rd) scored the goals against a defensive-minded Jamaican team.

Jamaica got off to a terrible start, conceding a goal in the second minute off a left-footed free kick from 20 yards, taken by Guardado, which curled over the wall and beat the diving Donovan Ricketts inside his near post.

Ball possession for Jamaica was difficult as only the rock-solid Rudolph Austin was composed and Mexican 'keeper Oswaldo Sanchez was tested only once, with a weak 20-yard shot from Ricardo Fuller, in the first half.

Mexico, adept at keeping the ball and full of movement, picked off passes at will to the chant of 'Ole' by the more than 110,000 spectators decorated in white as a signal of peace for recent kidnappings and killings taking place in their country, which led to the recent arrests of all police in one state on suspicion of corruption.

shutdown

It was a shutdown mirrored by its players on the pitch as they picked apart Jamaica's defence on many occasions, only to be denied by the brilliance of stalwart Ian 'Pepe' Goodison, goalie Ricketts and some poor finishing.

Arce, though, just before half-time, somewhat atoned for the many squandered openings against a defence that tracked poorly by doubling Mexico's lead with a rocket of a shot in the 33rd minute from a ball laid back inside the penalty box, setting off another in a series of the famed Mexican Wave.

The ball that scored had spun loose from an excellent diving save made by Ricketts.

To make matters worse, with experienced defender Shavar Thomas not in the squad, Goodison - one of few Jamaicans tackling with authority and precision - was hobbled in the 40th minute by a challenge from overlapping Barce-lona defender Rafael Marquez, the Mexicans' skipper.

Not surprisingly, the lion-hearted Goodison soldiered back into action before the interval, which came with the score unchanged.

Replacements

Non-performing Demar Phillips and juvenile Evan Taylor, whose immaturity was brought to the fore, were replaced along with ineffective Deon Burton in the second half.

Youthful Keneil Wolfe, who replaced Taylor at central midfield, also found the occasion too big and was lost, but Andy Williams stepped up his game.

And Jamaica gave a better showing, despite threatening the goal only once, with a cracker from an angle off the boot of Austin, who played well. The shot was kept out by Sanchez's diving save.

Mexico, in the meantime, got another goal from unchallenged central defender Magallon, who sweetly volleyed a corner into the roof of the net in the 63rd minute to subject the Boyz to yet another comprehensive beating at the Azteca Stadium.


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