Jamaica U-17s hold Cruz Azul in final World Cup warm-up match

June 14th, 2011

TOLUCA, Mexico — Jamaica’s Shawn Lawson (left), and Zhelano Barnes (right) surround Lara Jesus of Cruz Azul during their practice match at the Exchiendo Del Carmen Kemsa field in Toluca yesterday. The game ended 1-1. (Photo: Howard Walker)

TOLUCA, Mexico — Jamaica Under-17s were held to a 1-1 draw by Cruz Azul Under-17s as they wrapped up their pre-World Cup camp in Toluca yesterday.Jamaica ended unbeaten in their two practice matches after defeating a senior Reforma Athletics outfit on Friday.

Wolmer’s High schoolboy Jason Wright easily converted from the penalty spot in the 20th minute after Shawn Lawson was fouled in the box.

But Lara Jesus saved the day for Cruz Azul by netting in the 54th minute after some poor defending from the young Reggae Boyz.

It was a performance of two halves in which the Jamaican played excellently in the first half, but disintegrated in the second, losing their shape and discipline.

Head coach Wendell Downswell said it was an excellent exercise for the team playing against a strong club.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better opposition to play. They are one of the most formidable clubs both at the junior and senior levels,” noted Downswell.

“We made some changes to try and give everybody an opportunity to play because the result was not the overriding factor here. It was just to see how well they adapted,” he added.

Cruz Azul’s head coach Mooro Adrian Ortiz said the Jamaicans backline was solid, but wanted to see more emphasis placed on attacking.

The Jamaican delegation are scheduled to leave Toluca today at 1:00 pm en route to Monterrey for their set of first round FIFA World Cup games. Jamaica are drawn in Group B games alongside Japan, Argentina and France.

“Right now we are focusing on the starting team, so overall the camp itself is a resounding success and kudos for the federation for their vision and foresight to give these youngsters the opportunity.

“I wouldn’t mind if it was a little longer, but we are thankful to Digicel and Gore for investing in these youngsters,” said Downswell.


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