Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil continued apace Friday night with a couple of Portland Timbers players in the mix.
In front of a raucous home field crowd in Kingston, Jamaica, Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and forward Ryan Johnson both made the start for the Reggae Boyz as they lost to the U.S. 2-1 in a thrilling match. Jozy Altidore put the Yanks ups in the 30th minute while Jamaica’s Jermaine Beckford equalized in the 89th minute. The U.S. found a stoppage time winner from Seattle Sounders FC defender Brad Evans to give them three points and sit at seven points overall (2-1-1) in the CONCACAF hexagonal standings.
For Jamaica, both Johnson and Ricketts played the full 90 with Johnson being credited with one shot and Ricketts with two saves. Jamaica has a difficult road ahead as they sit last in the group with an 0-3-2 record.
Costa Rica leads the group after their 1-0 win over Honduras on Friday night. They also have seven points but sit one position higher than the U.S. due to a +2 goal differential. Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace did not feature in the match in San Juan de Tibás.
Jamaica next visit Honduras on Tuesday, June 11 at Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at 6pm PT while the Ticos take on Mexico on the road June 11 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City at 5pm PT, before returning home to play host to Panama on Tuesday, June 18, at 7pm PT. The United States next play Panama on June 11 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle at 6:30pm PT.
The top three teams in the hexagonal automatically qualify for next summer’s World Cup.
Meanwhile, in CAF World Cup qualifying, Futty Danso and The Gambia lost 3-0 to the Ivory Coast on Saturday, June 8, at Independence Stadium in Bakau. Danso played the full 90 for The Scorpions who next visit Morocco on Saturday, June 15, at Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco. With the loss, The Gambia (0-3-1) were eliminated from World Cup qualification in Group C of CAF.