MANAGUA, Nicaragua Sporting Alert – A late strike from Simon Dawkins in the second half helped Jamaica beat Nicaragua 2-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate in their CONCACAF World Cup Third Round Qualifier on Tuesday night.
After losing the first leg 3-2 in Kingston, a game they trailed 3-0 inside the first 50 minutes – the Reggae Boyz went on the road and got the result needed, but it wasn’t as straight forward as many Jamaican fans had predicted.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up took the lead through striker Darren Mattocks in the 13th minute.
Demar Phillips played in a corner kick which wasn’t handled properly by the Nicaragua defenders and they paid the price for some sloppy defending.
Jevaughn Watson held off his marker to play a ball right into the path of an unmarked Mattocks, who finished with the side of his foot from close range.
But despite scoring early, Jamaica failed to kick on and add to the score, as Nicaragua, who hit the post in the first half and had several chances to equalize, including Norfran Lazo’s chance that he fired wide with only the goalkeeper to beat, controlled most of the ball possession.
However, after doing everything for most of the contest to hold off the visitors, whose 3-5-2 formation was to no effect, Nicaragua went too defensive in the final minutes and got their hearts broken, as substitute Simon Dawkins for the Reggae Boyz struck again.
A long throw inside the box was once again handled poorly by the Nicaragua defenders, as the attempted clearance fell straight to Dawkins, who blasted home a superb volley strike from inside the 18-yard box.
Jamaica also went down to 10-man after Lance Laing was shown a red card in the 90th minute.
The 2-0 victory on Tuesday night saw the Jamaicans taking the two-way tie 4-3 on aggregate and progressed into the CONCACAF World Cup Fourth Round.
The Reggae Boyz will now play in Group B of the qualifiers alongside Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti.
After the poor display against a team ranked 134th, it will be difficult to look past head coach Winfried Schaefer recalling the likes Wes Morgan, Jobi McAnuff and Giles Barnes for the group fixtures.