It was a battle for Caribbean supremacy as the Reggae Boys of Jamaica met the Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago at the National Stadium on March 26.After a two weeks training camp in Brazil the Reggae Boys appeared to be fit and ready for action and set to prove to the Soca Warriors that Reggae ruled.
Football fans came out in their numbers as many Jamaicans were eager to see the Reggae Boys in action after the return of Renee Simoes, Technical Director that led the Reggae Boys to the World Cup finals in 1998. The question of “can he do it again” was on their lips.
The friendly match saw the return of Deon Burton as well as Donovan Ricketts. Ricardo Gardner was unable to attend the match due to club commitments so Marlon King led to Reggae boys to the duel. The Reggae Boys were in great form at the beginning of the match and made the Soca Warriors sweat to keep up with them.
Marlon King scored the first goal for the Jamaican team in the 34th minute fueling the engines of the Reggae Boys to stand and take their place as top team in the Caribbean. Six minutes after the first goal, Tyrone Marshall in an excellent display of skills defeated the Trinidad and Tobago backline and gave Jamaica their second goal in the first half. The crowd was in jubilation as the Reggae Boys gave them what they came for.
The second half of the match was a grave disappointment as several bad attempts at scoring were made by the Reggae Boys. Deon Burton showed that he was not in the best form as he failed to score an easy goal. The Reggae Boys also suffered from bad substitution as youngsters such as Luton Shelton was given a chance to play in the second half.
The Soca Warriors took advantage of the Reggae Boys’ mistakes and dominated the second half of the match. In the 74th minute Osei Telesford scored the first goal for the Trinidadian team. Shortly after in the 90th minute Aurtis Whitely Captain of the Warriors made the equalizer.
The match ended with a 2-2 draw but the spectators were not pleased as even before the end of the match they were seen leaving the stadium. At the end of the match the Trinidadian supporters were ecstatic; one would believe that they won the match! This is the 18th friendly match between the two Caribbean teams but it is the 30th game between them with the Reggae Boys leading with 13 wins to the Soca Warriors 11.