Canada stop Reggae Boyz
Gordon Williams, Gleaner Writer
TORONTO, Canada:Jamaica took an early lead, but succumbed to a disjointed performance against a better-organised Canada to lose 3-1 in their friendly football international here last night.
Two second-half goals from Canada sealed the Reggae Boyz' fate in front of a sparse crowd after Jamaica started and ended shakily on a cool evening, with winds rippling the national flags of both nations and temperatures dipping just below the 70 mark.
Playing out of a 3-5-2 formation, the Reggae Boyz, who were erroneously listed as 'Germany' on a later-corrected team sheet, looked nothing like world-beaters. The team was plagued throughout the 90 minutes by inconsistent passing and lack of fluency.
But with former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson watching at BMO Field, Jamaica counter punched against the run of play. Simon Dawkins was brought down 25 yards out, and Kemar Lawrence's curling left foot shot did just enough to beat sprawling Milan Borjan in Canada's goal, giving Jamaica the lead in the 30th minute.
However, the home team hit back almost immediately in the 31st. Patrice Bernier's long corner was met with a thunderous right-foot volley by David Edgar, which gave goalkeeper André Blake no chance.
Jamaica didn't create many chances before the half, although the statistic sheet showed the Boyz with five shots, compared to Canada's four, including a neat combination between Dawkins and Je-Vaughn Watson, which resulted in a miscued effort from the latter. Later, Deshorn Brown ended a long dribble with a shot straight to Borjan.
Jamar Loza replaced an ineffective Jermaine Anderson after the break and immediately sparked Jamaica. Loza almost rewarded coach Winfried Schäfer with a goal, heading Lawrence's cross just past the upright in the 53rd. Five minutes later, he broke free, but his shot was saved by Borjan. In the 60th, the lively Loza was at it again, but after beating the 'keeper, he was unable to finish from a tight angle. Ten minutes later, he latched onto another Watson peach pass, but couldn't convert.
Watson then produced another gem, but barely missed the overlapping wing back Alvas Powell in front of goal.
But it was Canada which landed the sucker punch that knocked the wind out of Jamaica. Marcel De Jong, from almost the identical spot to Lawrence, sent a beautiful free kick into the top corner, with Blake grounded in the 67th minute.
Loza squandered another opportunity in the 71st, but Blake could blame no one but himself a minute later, spilling a simple shot into the path of Tosaint Ricketts to widen Canada's lead and seal a disappointing night for the visitors.