Goals from Leon Bailey and Ravel Morrison helped Jamaica to an impressive 2-1 win over Honduras, cementing their best World Cup qualifying campaign since reaching the finals in 1998.
Looking to avenge a run of seven qualification matches without a win, a tenacious Jamaica side came from behind to take a rare lead into the HT interval. Having conceded from 12-yards via an expertly dispatched Ángel Tejeda spot-kick, the hosts were quick to cancel out Honduras’ opener with a penalty of their own. Stepping up to restore parity, Aston Villa forward Bailey just about found a way to squeeze his strike underneath an outstretched Luis López.
Trundling towards a HT stalemate, Jamaica found their second goal of the evening in fortunate fashion, when Morrison’s deflected strike wrong-footed goalkeeper López and bobbled into the back of the net. A memorable moment for the former Manchester United academy prospect, who netted his first international goal since switching allegiances to the ‘Reggae Boyz’ back in 2019.
If the events of the first half didn’t prove luck was on the side of the hosts, a VAR reprieve early in the second certainly confirmed just that. Having led with his elbow to contest a ball with Kevin Josue Lopez, Jamaica’s Daniel Green was shown a red card by referee Keylor Herrera. After being told to take a second look, the Costa Rican official reluctantly overturned the decision, despite replays showing there had been a connection with the arm.
Never really able to get going after taking the lead, a disjointed Honduras attack failed to threaten the Jamaica backline, and ‘La H’ will finish qualification without a win in the Octagon. Meanwhile, for the ‘Reggae Boyz’, it may not be a first World Cup appearance in over 20 years, but Paul Hall’s men round off a profitable campaign with a first home victory of the qualification cycle.