Mexico wins qualifier, 1-0 at Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Mexico got its first victory in CONCACAF’s final round of World Cup qualifying Tuesday night, beating Jamaica 1-0 on Aldo de Nigris’ goal.
The Mexicans had drawn all three previous games, but the win lifted them atop the six-team group while having played one more game than four other teams, including the United States.
After a sloppy first half in which Mexico threatened a few times, but Jamaica did little offensively, de Nigris connected in the 48th minute. He put in a header off a perfect cross from the left wing by Carlos Salcido.
“We are happy with the result,” said Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre, who was under pressure after the three draws. “It has kick-started our campaign. We knew Jamaica is a fast, counter-attacking team, so we started cautiously.
“But we are happy with the three points.”
Jamaica slipped to 0-2-2 and is last in qualifying. The top three teams advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place team faces a playoff with New Zealand.
The match was moved to Tuesday because, as regional champions, Mexico will play in the Confederations Cup this month in Brazil. The Mexicans visit Panama on Friday and also host Costa Rica on June 11, a busy schedule.
On Friday, Jamaica hosts the United States.
“Obviously we are disappointed, this has set us back,” Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore said. “We allowed the Mexicans to set the pace, they got comfortable on the ball and suffered the consequences.”
On the goal, Salcido’s was wide open on the left side and his soft pass to the top of the 6-yard box was nodded home by de Nigris past keeper Donovan Ricketts.
Suddenly, the Jamaicans found some energy when they fell behind. Jose Corona, starting ahead of Guillermo Ochoa in goal, made a strong save on Marvin Elliott.
But Mexico soon turned the game back in its favor.