Donaldson leads Jamaica fightback; T&T, US in goalless draw

Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson … scored in his second appearance for the Reggae Boyz.

MIAMI, United States, CMC – England-based striker Clayton Donaldson scored on his first ever start for Jamaica as the under-pressure Reggae Boyz beat Haiti 1-0 to put their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign back on course.

Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson … scored in his second appearance for the Reggae Boyz.
Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson … scored in his second appearance for the Reggae Boyz.

The 31-year-old, who earned his first cap for Jamaica in their 2-0 loss to Panama in Kingston last week, struck in the 62nd minute to break the deadlock and hand the visitors full points at the Stade Sylvio Cator.

Elsewhere, Trinidad and Tobago held United States to a nil-draw in Port of Spain while at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines suffered their second straight drubbing with a 4-0 defeat to Guatemala.

In Panama City, meanwhile, Costa Rica beat Panama 2-1 at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

The victory for Jamaica moved them off the bottom of Group B into third spot behind leaders Costa Rica who have six points from two wins in as many outings.

In Group C, T&T lie second on four points behind the USA who also have four points but lead the group by virtue of a superior goal difference.

SVG remain rock bottom after two losses.

Much of the focus, however, was on Port-au-Prince, especially after Jamaica were stunned 2-0 by the Panamanians in their opening game of the CONCACAF fourth round of qualifiers last Friday.

The game was one of few chances but it was the hosts who had the better of the exchanges in the opening half.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake, starting ahead of Duwayne Kerr, was called into action in the 17th minute when he forced to save from Max Hilaire.

Just minutes later, he just managed to push over Jeff Louis’s dipping shot, as Jamaica managed to enter the break with the scoreline still nil-all.

Demar Phillips came close to opening the scoring for the visitors early in the second half when Alvas Powell put in a searching cross but the resulting shot was straight at goalkeeper Johny Placide.

However, Jamaica were ahead soon after thanks to good work from Phillips. He sent in a corner which Donaldson, the Birmingham City striker, got on the end of to nod past the Haitian custodian.

At the Hasely Crawford Stadium, neither T&T nor USA looked like breaking down each other and a goalless stalemate was perhaps the ideal result.

The hosts were the better side in the first half without carving out any clear cut chances but the US stepped up in the second half and twice struck the crossbar.

Early in the first half, Gyasi Zardes met Jozy Altidore’s cross with a strong header which found the woodwork with Jan Michael Williams beaten and with 12 minutes left, Jermaine Jones’s  long distance volleyball pushed onto the crossbar by Williams.

SVG, meanwhile, hammered 6-1 by the US in their opener, suffered a similar fate when Cincotta scored in the 23rd minute and Mynor Lopez nine minutes later to give Guatemala a 2-0 half-time lead.

Three minutes after the break, Denniss Lopez added a third with Gerson Tinoco scoring nine minutes from the end to wrap up the comprehensive win.




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