The Jamaica national team completed a dramatic turnaround, capturing a 2-0 win at Nicaragua to advance to the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Simon Dawkins scored in the 90th minute of Tuesday’s second leg, delivering the Reggae Boyz the required two-goal win and 4-3 aggregate series win over Nicaragua in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series at Estadio Nacional Dennis Martínez in Managua.
The series win carries Jamaica – along with Dynamo forward Giles Barnes and defender Jermaine Taylor – into CONCACAF qualifying’s semifinal round, joining Costa Rica, Panama and Haiti in a very competitive group B.
Jamaica scored the final four goals of the series after falling behind 3-0 at home on Friday. Without Dawkins’ goal, Jamaica would have lost the series on the away goals rule, ending their hopes for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Barnes did not play on Tuesday, his first absence after seven consecutive starts for Jamaica, including all six at the Gold Cup. Barnes’ role on Tuesday was expected to be limited due to Achilles tendonitis, which he has dealt with for close to a month. Barnes played 90 minutes in the first leg on Friday as Jamaica suffered a surprise 3-2 home defeat. Nicaragua opened the series on Friday with a stunning 3-0 lead by the 48th minute before Jamaica regrouped with second-half goals from Darren Mattocks and Adrian Mariappa.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Dynamo midfielder Luis Garrido played 90 minutes and Boniek Garcia entered as a substitute in the 59th minute as Honduras suffered a 2-0 friendly loss to Ecuador at Estadio Olimpico in Quito. The match was a replay of their meeting in the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Garrido earned his 32nd cap for Honduras while Garcia registered his 101st career appearance after celebrating his centennial cap with an assist in Friday’s win at Venezuela.
Dynamo forward Erick Torres spent a week in Mexico City with the Mexico Under-22 national team and gained to appearances. The 22-year-old started and played 70 minutes against the Panama U-22s on Sunday before entering as a substitute against Cruz Azul of Liga MX on Tuesday.
All four international players will train with the Dynamo beginning Thursday and are expected to be eligible for selection as the Dynamo host Real Salt Lake on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium (TICKETS).