What could have been a huge boost for the Reggae Boyz turned into a huge bust as Jamaica fell to Costa Rica 3-0 in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Celso Borges put Jamaica down early, with a goal in the sixth minute. Los Ticos captain Bryan Ruiz doubled the lead in the thirty-seventh minute, and the Montreal Impact's Johan Venegas put the final nail in the coffin in the seventy-seventh minute.
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake had a frustrating game, and the Venegas goal especially can't be blamed on him. Jamaica had been pressing most of the second half looking to cut the lead. This lead to Costa Rica repeatedly breaking free and getting chances on goal, and on the Venegas goal the Jamaican back line was caught chasing the ball. Venegas' first shot was parried wide by Blake, but the rebound was passed back to him while he was wide open and he put it just inside the far post.
A win or a draw would have helped Jamaica immensely, but a 3-0 loss is a disaster. They're three points behind Panama for the second spot in the group (Costa Rica is in first with ten points), and perhaps worse is that Panama has a significant advantage in goal differential - their plus two makes Jamaica's minus four a steep hill to climb.
All is not lost, however. Jamaica absolutely has to win their next match - against Panama in Panama City on September 2 and needs a better result against Haiti then Panama has against Costa Rica on September 6 in order to advance to the Hexagonal. Hopefully the Reggae Boyz have a successful stint in the upcoming Copa America Centenario to regain their confidence heading into the last two World Cup Qualifiers of 2016.