Second-half surge dooms Reggae Boyz - Jamaica go down 3-0 to Peru in Paul Hall’s first game

January 21, 2022

In his first match as interim senior national men's football team head coach, Paul Hall was left to ponder a collapse in defensive concentration as Jamaica fell to Peru 3-0 in their international friendly at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru, on Thursday night.

Powered by Luis Iberico in the 48th minute, Alex Valera in the 66th minute, and Yoshimar Yotun in the 82nd minute, Peru used a second-half surge to doom the Reggae Boyz to their first defeat under Hall.

The match was used to evaluate players ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and Hall gave international debuts and starts to Cavalier defender Richard King, and Montego Bay United midfielder Deshane Beckford.

Supplemented by veteran players such as Damion Lowe, who wore the captain's armband for the night, Jamaica caused the Peruvians problems in the first half. Jourdaine Fletcher latched on to a rebound five minutes into the game, but saw his shot sail over the bar, laying the ground work for the pressure to follow.

However, the Peruvians forced a save out of goalkeeper Amal Knight in the 19th minute through Jairo Concha's one-time effort. The resulting save led to a Jamaican counter attack that almost produced the first goal of the game. A cross from Javain Brown found the head of Beckford, which forced a diving save from Peruvian keeper Pedro Gallese. However, Peru put pressure on the Jamaicans in the final 15 minutes. Despite Aldo Corzo getting clean contact with his head in the 33rd minute, it was saved at point-blank range by Knight.

But it was the home team that found the breakthrough two minutes after the restart, as Iberico's header off a free kick snuck past Knight for his first international goal. From there, the momentum shifted to Peru with Jamaica struggling to generate chances themselves. They almost conceded a second when Knight misplayed his clearance straight to Peru substitute Horacio Calcaterra but Valera's shot was dragged wide. But Valera would prove to be more clinical on his next attempt as Je'Vaughn Watson misplayed his clearance in his path and Valera slotted past Knight for Peru's second.

The best opportunity Jamaica could muster in the second half was through Lamar Walker in 63rd minute, but his shot soared high and wide. Peru put the match beyond doubt eight minutes before full time, with Yotun unleashing a strike from outside the penalty area that gave Knight no chance. Jamaica finished with five shots, with one on target, while Peru had 17 shots with seven on target.

Jamaica will now continue preparation for their World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the National Stadium on Thursday.

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