Out of the contention to represent CONCACAF in the 2018 World Cup, Jamaica went to face Peru as a final tune-up before both the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup coming up this summer. The 15th ranked Peruvians were not gracious hosts however, and put on a display of pressing soccer, defeating Jamaica by a score of 3-1.
Peru got on the board first as Christian Cueva played a great through ball to Paolo Guerrero. Andre Blake made the initial save on Guerrero’s shot, but the rebound fell to Edison Flores, who tapped the ball into the net.
Jamaica looked a bit out of sorts, perhaps having to do with playing at altitude. Passes were poorly weighted, balls were played to no one in particular or put into touch. Jamaica was however still able to match physically with the Peruvians, with both sides committing plenty of fouls. The only booking of the first half was a yellow card to Bethlehem Steel FC’s Cory Burke for a rather robust challenge.
Disaster struck for Jamaica in the 44th minute when Renato Tapia was left unmarked on a corner kick and headed the ball past Andre Blake to put Peru up 2-0 just before the half.
Jamaica didn’t look to adjust much in the second hald, as Peru continued to press and force Jamaica to concede multiple corner kicks. After coming off for a bloody nose, Paolo Guerrero came back on and was served a great through ball. He was somehow kept onside, and was able to beat Andre Blake with a shot in the box to make it 3-0.
Peru subbed out most of their starters as the game went on and got further and further out of reach. Jamaica was a little more reluctant to make moves, opting to try to bring on fresh offensive legs in the form of Romario Williams and Owein Gordon for Shamar Nicolson and Cory Burke respectively. The problem wasn’t that the forwards weren’t scoring however, it was that the midfield repeatedly turned the ball over and couldn’t sustain an attack.
Andre Blake came off in the 81st minute for Ryan Thompson. It was the first time Blake wasn’t in goal for Jamaica since the 2015 Gold Cup Final, when Thompson was on the wrong end of a 3-1 loss to Mexico. Blake didn’t look to be injured, instead it looked like a matter of getting Thompson some minutes in a game that was already out of reach.
In the 84th minute, Owein Gordon was driving into the box when he was hit in the face by an errant arm by Nilson Loyola. The referee showed Loyola a yellow card and awarded Jamaica a penalty. Jermaine Johnson calmly put the ball past Jose Carvalho to draw one back for Jamaica. It was too little, too late however as Jamaica had no answers for what Peru threw at them.
Peru: Carlos Caceda (Jose Carvalho, 60’); Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos (Miguel Araujo, 46’), Alberto Rodriguez (Anderson Santamaria, 46’), Miguel Trauco (Nilson Loyola, 61’); Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun; Andy Polo (Alexander Succar, 69’), Christian Cueva, Edison Flores; Paolo Guerrero
Jamaica: Andre Blake (Ryan Thompson, 81’); Jermaine Taylor, Ladale Richie, Kemar Lawrence, Alvas Powell (Rosario Harriott, 77’); Oniel Fisher, Michael Binns, Je-Vaughn Watson, Ewan Grandison; Shamar Nicolson (Romario Williams, 56’), Cory Burke (Owein Gordon, 70’)
Scoring: Peru - Edison Flores (21’), Renato Tapia (44’), Paolo Guerrero (59’); Jamaica - Jermaine Johnson (Penalty, 86’)
Disciplinary: Peru - Nilson Loyola (Yellow - 84’); Jamaica - Cory Burke (Yellow - 11’), Je-Vaughn Watson (Yellow - 68’), Ladale Richie (Yellow - 81’)