Reggae Boyz fell 3-1 to Croatia in their debut World Cup game
at the Stade Felix Bollaert on Sunday. Over 41,00 in attendance
saw two second half goals from Robert Prosinecki and Davor Suker,
put Croatia out of reach for the less experienced Jamaican team.
At the start of the game Croatia immediately attacked but Jamaica
quickly settled and had much of the early possession. In the 27th
minute Croatian striker Mario Stanic collected a rebound off the
crossbar and put it pass Warren Barrett to put the Croatian team
ahead. Jamaica came close to scoring on a number of occasions
and was rewarded with the equalizer on the 45 minute mark when
Ricardo Gardener put in a perfect cross for Robbie Earle to head
into the top corner. The first half ended Croatia 1, Jamaica 1.
second half saw a more determined Croatia team take control of
the game and had Jamaica chasing. In the 53rd midfielder Prosinecki
lobbed the ball over Jamaica's keeper Warren Barrett to put Croatia
back into the lead. Jamaica missed a glorious opportunity to equalize
when Deon Burton beat the Croatian goalie with a header that went
just wide. Croatia struck again in the 69th minute when unmarked
striker Suker received a cross from Prosinecki and hit a shot
that deflected pass Barrett to put Croatia up 3-1. Substitute
Andy Williams and Walter Boyd were brought in to step up the Jamaican
attack, but the more experienced Croatian team maintained their
lead to the final whistle.
Teams were Jamaica : Jamaica - 1-Warren Barrett (captain); 5-Ian
Goodison, 15-Ricardo Gardener, 19-Frank Sinclair, 6-Fitzroy Simpson,
7-Peter Cargill (20-Darryl Powell 70), 11-Theodore Whitmore, 16-Robbie
Earle (9-Andrew Williams 72), 17-Onandi Lowe, 18-Deon Burton,
22-Paul Hall (10-Walter Boyd 82).
Croatia - 1-Drazen Ladic; 14-Zvonimir Soldo, 17-Robert Jarni,
20-Dario Simic, 4-Igor Stimac, 6-Slaven Bilic, 10-Zvonimir Boban,
13-Mario Stanic, 7-Aljosa Asanovic, 8-Robert Prosinecki, 9-Davor
Referee: Manuel Melo Pereira (Portugal).
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