A courageous Jamaica Under-17 team lost 4-5 on penalties in sudden death to the United States of America in their CONCACAF play-off match at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in Honduras.
Both teams battled to a 0-0 draw in normal time and went straight into penalty kicks. Nicholas Nelson, Jahlanie Hammond, Shandel Senior, and Ajeanie Talbott converted for Jamaica. Jahwani Hinds missed Jamaica’s second spot kick then Alex Marshall missed in sudden death.
Marshall, who also missed in the 1-1 draw with Cuba, was inconsolable as he crashed himself into the sign boards before his teammates tried to console him.
The outstanding goalkeeper Jahmali Waite saved the first kick from Christian Pulisic but Joe Gallardo, Daniel Barbir, Alejandro Zendejas, John Nelson, and Alexis Veleva all converted for the USA.
The Americans were then booed by the Honduran fans who were clearly rooting for the Jamaicans, but that didn’t stop them from celebrating like they had won the World Cup.
In contrast, the Jamaican team, despite the cheers from the fans, were in tears as the coaching staff tried desperately to ease their pain.
While we at 18 Karat Reggae are sad to see our boyz not making it to the world cup, we are extremely proud of their gallant fight. Congratulations to the boyz and the entire coaching staff. GREAT RUN!