Reggae Boyz felled by Morris strike

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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, Feb 4, CMC – A second half strike by Jordan Morris sent Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz tumbling to a 1-0 defeat to United States in their international friendly at Finley Stadium here Friday night.
Following a goalless first half where both teams had excellent chances to get on the scoresheet, Morris broke the deadlock in the 59th minute when he finished clinically from nine yards out.
The victory was the Americans’ 14th over Jamaica in 24 meetings and the first victory overall for head coach Bruce Arena since his return to head the national side.
Playing before a crowd of nearly 18 000, both teams started positively but it was the US who posed the first real signs of danger when Dax McCarty headed over from Benny Feilhaber’s right-sided corner early on.
Jamaica responded in the 34th minute when Cory Burke out-paced his marker and raced down the left to put a low cross into the box. Goalkeeper Luis Robles parried the shot only for the advancing Romario Williams to miscue his shot off the rebound from point blank range.
Four minutes later, Morris got on to the end of a nod-on from Juan Agudelo and burst into the box only for goalkeeper Andre Blake to rush off his line and deny the striker.
The game was evenly poised at half-time but it was the US who pressed after the break, with Graham Zusi coming close in the 57th minute when his shot was tipped over by substitute goalkeeper Ryan Thompson.
However, the hosts’ persistence paid off two minutes later. McCarty’s through-ball from deep in midfield was collected by Feilhaber just outside the 18-yard box, and he played a dainty one-two with Morris before the latter finished clinically past Thompson.
Jamaica’s quest for an equalizer came to nothing as the US controlled the remainder of the game.
The Caribbean side are preparing for two major tournaments – the Caribbean Cup finals in June and the CONCACAF Gold Cup the following month.
They take on Honduras in Houston on February 16 in another friendly international.

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