Boyz felled by rampant Saudis

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, CMC – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz displayed flashes of brilliance but were eventually overpowered by Saudi Arabia, as the hosts strolled to a 5-2 victory in their tier-two friendly game here Saturday.

Playing at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, Jamaica got a goal in each half from Jamiel Hardware and Marvin Morgan to keep Saudi Arabia on their toes.

However, Salem Al Dawsari Hazza Al Hazza and Salman Al Farj all netted in the first half to hand the Saudis a 3-1 lead at the break, and Mohamed Al Berik and Abdulah Al Joui added goals in the second half to reinforce the hosts’ dominance.

The defeat was the second for the Caribbean side in four meetings between the two teams.

Saudi Arabia opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Al Dawsari finished off a dazzling build-up down the right-side, by easily beating Dwayne Miller from close range.

However, Jamaica responded in the 35th minute thanks to Hardware who curled a volley in at the far post from the left side of the 18-yard box after collecting an aerial cross from the right flank.

But the Saudis pressed home their superiority three minutes later with Al Hazza restoring their advantage, courtesy of an uncontested header from inside the box.

Al Farj then put the result out of sight on the stroke of half-time from the spot after defender Ladale Richie was adjudged to have brought down Al Hazza in the area.

The Reggae Boyz had little time to settle after the break as the Saudis struck in the 48th minute when Al Berik capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Miller and Damion Lowe, to poke home from close range.

Morgan then came off the bench to pull one back for the Jamaicans, curling in a long range effort from the top of the box in the 68th.

However, even in stoppage the Saudis remained dangerous and their last goal was a well-orchestrated effort. Taiseer Al Jassam turned Jermaine Taylor inside out down the right side and crossed into the box where Al Joui finished off the fluent move.

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