Jhamal Tucker

Wed, 08 Sep 2021

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Panama travelled to Kingston as the away team but looked much more confident on the ball than the home team, safe to say these Jamaican players were all largely in unfamiliar territory. With 14 minutes on the clock, an unsettled Jamaica became rattled when Andres Andrade struck from distance. At the time neither team had gotten any real patterns going but the Panamanians looked much sharper. The Reggae Boyz found themselves on the back foot constantly and that pressure led to a breaking point. With 25 minutes on the clock, Rolando Blackburn got his team’s second goal with a strong leap and an even stronger header. After the break, a changed Jamaica team started looking brighter and asked more questions of Panama. There were more passes exchanged but the Boyz ultimately didn’t get many clear cut chances until Kemar Roofe had his header superbly saved following a well worked corner routine. The Rangers FC man should have scored, that failure allowed Panama the opportunity to head towards the opposition goal and punish such wastefulness in the 82nd minute. It was all over at that point.


There weren’t many things that went right for Jamaica. Michail Antonio stepped onto the pitch in a Jamaican shirt for the first time which means he’s now locked in for the national team, there were concerns that his up surge in form might’ve changed England’s stance on his inclusion in the Three Lions. That’s just about it really.


There were at least 3 negatives in this game as Jamaica fell to Panama by that margin. And broadly speaking that meant Jamaica has zero points from the two games in the World Cup Qualifiers. The Boyz failed to play with any cohesion for 45 minutes then failed to penetrate afterwards despite getting better. The play was disjointed, slow and ill-suited to the players on the pitch, in the end 3-0 was probably a kinder result than Panama deserved but Jamaica gave nothing in this game to have challenged that result. 


Manager: Tappa – 5 

Deciding to rest some players after a hard fought away game to Mexico is perfectly sound reasoning, and the players that were picked might’ve been a decent starting lineup but everything after that was a mess. The 4-4-2 played in the first half was not a system suited to this set of players, and when the formation changed after the break to a 4-2-3-1 it still left a lot to be desired. None of his substitutions were made for tactical reasons, but rather he was forced to make them to rescue the situation as it was. In the end, this was a complete switch up from the competence shown in Mexico. 


Andre Blake – 6 

Blake could only do as Blake does, make a good save here and there and hope his defenders bail him out where he fell short. He did manage a couple of good stops but couldn’t offer much on any of the goals. He was surprised by the first, beaten well by the second and caught out by the third. He was probably asked to use his feet more, which turned out to be an idea lacking proper execution. 

Wes Harding – 5 

Harding too often found himself drifting infield and left his flank completely open to marauding wingers. And in the end it was that space that allowed the cross for the second goal. He defended fairly well when he was in position to do so though. 

Liam Moore – 6 

Regained his place from the Mexico game but not his form. He looked rattled all game and never fully settled. For some unknown reason, he was asked to play long balls, bypassing the midfield constantly, he managed to do this comparatively better than his defensive partner Pinnock but in his actual role of defending ended up with him mostly chasing shadows. 

Ethan Pinnock – 6 

Back in the team after missing the Gold Cup, he looked more assured than anyone in defense, but was let down by his passing which, unfortunately, was a big part of the game plan. Because he defended well, he deflected or recovered the ball often only to (ostensibly) lump it straight back to the opposition. In the end he was too tired to cover for Moore when he stepped out to press, leaving clear room for Cecilio Waterman to waltz in to score the third. 

Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence – 5

Taxi was one of three players to keep his place in the team following the Mexico game. Panama preferred to get into attacking positions from their left or up the middle, as such Lawrence didn’t have much to do. Ultimately, he gave almost nothing in attack, precious little in defense and didn’t get on the ball enough due to the bizarre passing patterns Jamaica employed. 

Ravel Morrison – 4 

Performing only marginally better than the 4 on his back, Morrison was out of the game completely. A strange occurrence in this game was how, when the centre backs got on the ball he and Johnson beside him turned their backs to them as the ball is pumped forward somewhat aimlessly. With his dribbling and passing ability, he could have been much more useful to the team getting the ball off the defenders, turning and making plays. Instead 45 minutes was all he could muster, and it wasn’t a good 45. 

DanielJohnson – 6 

In a reversal of the trope, Johnson lasted long enough to see himself go from being one of the villains in the first half to becoming a hero in the second. Hero might be a bit much but definitely with Devon Williams next to him for the second half, he performed better. His passing was sharper and better aimed while there was good cohesion between him and Williams. On average, across the balance of play, that first half stinker was what put Jamaica in the position they found themselves in the second half. 

Bobby Reid – 5 

Bobby Reid and Morrison perhaps suffered most in the first half horror show, which was perhaps the reason the two got the hook at halftime. Reid was out wide on the left and slightly isolated. He didn’t get into the game nearly enough to affect the attack, and while he did press well to assist his left back, he couldn’t get into the game. Mercifully a halftime substitution put an end to what was set to be a difficult evening. 

Corey Burke – 7 

Perhaps the only player to have played with the intensity you’d expect from a World Cup Qualifier, Burke not only kept his place but his energy as well. He was full of running all evening and put in a shift to be proud of (if there’s much pride to be had in a demoralizing 3-0 loss). He was good value for his endeavour as well but he couldn’t get his teammates to get up to the necessary levels. Had his team been onsong they would have benefitted

from his effort.

Kemar Roofe – 5 

Part of an ill-fated strike partnership, Roofe was anonymous for most of the first half, popping up only when you’ve completely forgotten he was there and then only long enough for you to wonder where he’s been and what he’s been doing. It did get better in the second half, but the bar was already so low. He looked like he lacked sharpness, had little idea what he should’ve been doing and hardly threatened throughout. He should have been quicker to control the deflected clearance that fell to him, and he should have headed in from six yards. 

Michail Antonio – 4 

Making his debut for Jamaica, Antonio looked unwilling and frustrated for 70 minutes. He spent most of the first half counting blades of grass as he trudged around with his head down. It was obvious that Jamaica tried to play to his strengths with all the long passes attempted that were played in his vicinity, but the inaccuracy of the pass ensured that plan didn’t work out. He ended the game without so much as a shot in anger and possibly had the fewest touches of anyone on the field.


Junior Flemings (45’) – 5 

One of two changes at the half, Flemings was largely ineffective. He did little worth committing to memory. He was stuck out wide and failed to get into any threatening positions or set his teammates up to be threatening themselves. It was almost a wasted substitution, Flemings came on to replace Reid but he disappeared from the game in much the same way and didn’t actually affect the game in any way. 

Devon ‘Speedy’ Williams (45’) – 7 

Partly due to the formation change and partly due to his difference in profile to Morrison, who he replaced, Speedy came into the game and immediately made a difference. The team looked in better shape, the passing came easier, they were able to play through Panama’s press and the ball was going through the midfield instead of totally by-passing it. All that was achieved plus the added defensive cover in the middle. 

Alvas Powell (70’) – 5 

Powell replaced Harding but didn’t do much better. He, like Harding, defended well when needed to, but, as always, was prone to giving away cheap freekicks. On a more positive note, Powell seemed more comfortable on the ball and offered more going forward.

Shamar Nicholson (70’) – 6 

Came on for Antonio and looked much brighter than his counterpart. He had one half chance that he tried to take which forced a good save from the goalkeeper. He added to the good running Burke was making and showed good intensity for the final 20 minutes. All in all, he had a decent cameo.



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