Mexico clinch victory as Jamaica's World Cup dreams slip

Kingston (Jamaica), June 5 (IANS/CMC) Jamaica's hopes of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup were left in tatters after they lost a crucial play-off to Mexico 0-1 at the national stadium here.

A goal from Aldo De Nigris early in the second half sealed the game Tuesday night for the Mexicans after an evenly contested first half and sent them to the top of the six-team grouping, reports CMC.

The 'Reggae Boyz' pressed the visitors and feasted on a diet of half-chances and futile crosses to lone striker Ryan Johnson who was in for dropped national team top-scorer Luton Shelton.

Mexico took the lead three minutes into the second half after De Nigris slipped his marker and nodded home a brilliant cross from veteran Carlos Salcido on the left to put the visitors in the driving seat.

Five minutes later, the Jamaicans nearly drew level after Mexican goalkeeper Jesus Corona pulled off a spectacular save with his foot to deny a close-range header from Finland-based O'Brian Woodbine.

Corona repeated the effort on the resulting corner-kick, diving to his left to bat away Rodolph Austin's towering header.

Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts pulled of a number of brilliant saves for the homeside including one that deprived the Mexicans of a golden chance on the hour-mark as a shot from the penalty area was steered into the legs of the giant Jamaican net-minder.

Marvin Elliot missed a sitter, heading wide from six yards out after a perfect cross from the right side as the goal-shy Jamaicans remain on the hunt for their first win of the round.

Mexico now joins Panama at the top of the six-team points standings with six points, while Jamaica remain rooted at the bottom on two points.

The rest of the pack in the CONCACAF Hexagonal are in action Friday, when Costa Rica travel to Honduras for a Central American Clasico and the Jamaicans again play hosts, this time to the travelling USA.

--IANS/CMC

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