Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz had to play with 10 players for the better part of an hour, but they nonetheless managed to hold their own during a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in their friendly international at the National Stadium last night.
In what was the 22nd meeting between both teams, the Jamaicans found themselves in a spot of bother when captain Jermaine Taylor was sent to an early shower, after foolishly picking up a second yellow card in the 36th minute.
The host however, managed to limit the Costa Ricans to mostly speculative efforts, even though Jairo Arrieta wasted a clear opportunity to give the visitors what would have been their 11th victory over the Jamaicans.
With an empty goal staring at him, Arrieta somehow managed to blaze his shot well over the crossbar from the top of the six yard box, after a ball was played across to him.
It was certainly the miss of the game and summed up what appeared a rather toothless Costa Rican attack, which of course, like Jamaica, was missing several top names due to club commitments.
The Jamaicans actually got the first 'look-in' on goal with barely two minutes gone on the clock, when Navion Boyd forced a save from goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton, after the Jamaicans capitalised in a defensive lapse inside the box.
JeVaughn Watson was impressive most of the time and almost turned provider in the 27th minute, but his grass-cutting pass across the face of goal could not find the boot of a Jamaican player; Dino Williams and Joel Senior both failing to make any meaningful contact.
Minutes later, Taylor, who has built up a reputation for picking up cards, again found his name in the referee’s book after a second bookable offense, leaving the Jamaicans with one less player on the field.
The team did well however, to manage the game, and showed commendable maturity while never losing spirit.
In fact, the host had two good opportunities afterwards to steal a win against their Central American rivals but Dino Williams, who it must be said, did precious little throughout the game to inspire any real confidence, shot aimlessly into the side-netting after working his way behind the Costa Rican defense close to the start of the second half.
Substitute Renae Lloyd also forced a good save out of Pemberton, after rising to meet a deep corner from Troy Smith as both teams, in the end, seemed satisfied with what was their eight drawn game in history.