by Natalie Monique
Jamaica’s Soccer team, (well, its known as Football in the Caribbean and some other parts of the world
but we will leave that debate for another time) aka. known as The Reggae Boyz defeated Venezuela 3-2, in a friendly match earleir today.
Goalscorers Tramaine Stewart, Navion Boyd and Xavian Virgo all helped put the Black, Green and Gold team on top, while Chris Killen and Chris Wood, tried to fight back with a single goal each for New Zealand. The first goal was scored by Jamaica’s Virgo (his first International goal) before half time, giving the Reggae Boyz a 1-0 lead.
Sports Illustrated says, New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen flew home for the match from his new Premier League club Tottenham and was due to return to London immediately after the final whistle. “Obviously the result didn’t go our way but we had a lot of chances and I kind of just didn’t think we were clinical enough at both ends of the park…We were sloppy defensively, myself included, and let in three soft goals. We got in some nice positions going forward, probably better positions than we normally get in and we could have been more clinical there as well.”
Reggae Boyz Stewart said his team struggled at times having only a short time to acclimatize to a different time zone. “It was very tough…the time is very different to Jamaican time but the players played competitively which is very good…..We didn’t think we were in for an easy time, regardless of the rankings. We knew we had to come out tonight and play well, work hard and try to get some early goals and we did that.”
These friendly games are to help prepare teams for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Jamaica also recently defeated Cuba in two friendy matches held in Montego Bay (3-0) and Kingston (1-0) respectively, in Jamaica. The Reggae Boyz team is led by Head Coach and former Mid-fielder, Theodore Whitmore.
Teams for the Jamaica vs New Zealand were as follows:
Jamaica: – Dwayne Miller, Claude Davis, Damion Stewart (Adrian Reid 88th), Troy Smith, Xavian Virgo, Jermaine Taylor, Luton Shelton, Je-Vaughn Watson (Jorginho James 82nd), Keammar Daley, Omar Cummings Navion Boyd 65th), Tramaine Stewart (Richard Edwards 73rd). The substitutes not used for this game included, Jacomeno Barrett, Oneil Thompson, Keneil Moodie, Romeo Parkes.
Currently (as of Feb 15th), FIFA rankings for the Caribbean teams are as follows: 1 Jamaica (50), 2 Haiti (71), 3 Trinidad and Tobago (85), 4 Antigua and Barbuda (90), 5 Guyana (92), 6 Cuba (116), 7 St Kitts and Nevis (117), 8 Dominica (129), 9 Grenada (133), 10 Belize (135)
There are 205 teams in the FIFA rankings, and the top three to date are Spain, Germany and Netherlands respectively.
Taking the Caribbean to the world …we wish the Reggae Boyz and all the other Caribbean teams the best in moving onto the World Cup!!