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Jamaica News - Real Estate - Sports (February 21, 2005)
Reggae Moves Dazzle Trinis
IN A CLASH of Reggae versus Soca, the sweetest rhythms were provided by Jamaicaís Reggae Boyz at the National Stadium last night.

Stout at the back, cool, calm and patient in midfield and at times explosive up front, Jamaica started the inaugural Caribbean Football Unionís Digicel Caribbean Football Cup with a smart looking 2-1 victory over rivals Trinidad and Tobago.

Before a packed National Stadium, and with Jamaicaís green, black and yellow colours slightly outnumbering Trinidadís red, black and white, the regionís highest ranked team showed that even though they were without a number of overseas based pros for this tournament, they would be no pushover over the next four days with US$100 000 on the line.

Jamaica controlled the match after a first eight unsettling minutes for both teams, and not to take anything from their play, Trinidadís midfield was slow, unimaginative, and at times quite pathetic. The first 20 minutes were infected with a number of sorry passes to their opponents, and Jamaica took advantage by peppering the Soca Warriors íkeeper Durance Williams with a number of long range shots.

Their persistence paid off after 15 minutes, when Trinidadís defence was caught napping, and a left-side cross was neatly side-footed home by Luton Shelton for the lead.

The Jamaican fans, made up mostly of University of the West Indies students, which is the norm once an international match is hosted here, suddenly became rather noisy, and the adrenalin flowed to the feet of their countrymen, who simply did what they pleased after that.

Exactly 60 seconds later, Jamaica lapsed truly for the first time in the match, and they were made to pay.

A long searching ball was neatly pulled down from 15 yards by Nigel Pierre, and he spun simultaneously with a low shot into the corner, reducing Jamaicaís lead to 2-1, which they held until the break.

The second half, however, proved to be Trinidadís best session. Their midfield play improved, but Jamaica remained solid at the back, even though íkeeper Shawn Sawyers came with two brilliant reflex saves, the nicest off a snap header by Cornell Glen that appeared destined for goal, but was snapped up by Sawyers.

The final ten minutes proved too nerve-wracking for Trinidad, though, as Jamaica shed their timid second-half style to create three genuine opportunities which went abegging mainly due to over-confidence in front of the goal.

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