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Boyz bounce back


BA/PR

Boyz bounce back

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MONTEGO BAY – The Boyz are hometown heroes again.

Jamaica defeated Antigua and Barbuda 3-0 in the Caribbean Cup Group B’s marquee match on Friday night at the Montego Bay Sport Complex.

The win lifted the Reggae Boyz into a first-place tie on four points with Haiti, who downed Martinique, also 3-0, earlier in the evening. Martinique and Antigua have one point each.

Looking a different team from the one that drew 1-1 with Martinique in Wednesday’s opener, the tournament hosts mixed hard-driving wing play with committed support from the middle.

Captain Rodolph Austin had a goal and an assist, while Kemar Lawrence and Darren Mattocks also scored.

Lawrence opened the scoring in the 29th minute, receiving Rodolph’s free kick in the penalty box and turning to beat goalkeeper Molvin James with an unruffled finish.

The Jamaicans doubled their advantage a minute before the break thanks to the work of Dane Richards, who enjoyed an outstanding evening.

The Norway-based attacker delivered a low ball from the right that Mattocks slotted past James for his second goal in as many games.

After the interval, Jamaica stayed on the front foot. In the 65th minute, Jobi McAnuff drilled a shot from 23 yards into the chest of James. The ball popped up as the goalkeeper fell backwards, but he was able to reel it in.

In the 76th minute, Simon Dawkins get free on left side of the box, only to be thwarted by the cat-like reflexes of a diving James.

The 25-year-old netminder was at his best again two minutes later, making a point-blank save from Richards.

In the 87th minute, Austin rose high to punctuate the scoreline with a header off a left-sided cross.

Places in next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup are still up for grabs, setting up a decisive double-header today when Antigua face Martinique and Jamaica meet Haiti on the last day of group play. (BA/PR)

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