• Thursday May 23, 2013

    Jamaica, Tottenham draw in friendly

    NASSAU, Bahamas - Jamaica and England's Tottenham Hotspur drew 0-0 in a friendly on Thursday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. The match was played as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Bahamian independence.


    Despite the relaxed nature of the fixture, the fans were treated to an encounter played at an entertaining pace.


    Tottenham, which concluded its domestic season on Sunday, produced the first true chance in the seventh minute, but Jermain Defoe missed wide after latching onto a long ball from Michael Dawson.


    The Caribbean side played composed football, nearly taking the lead in the 23rd minute, when Jermaine Hue forced a diving save from former U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Friedel.


    Less than 10 minutes later, a right-footed effort from Keammar Daley rebounded off Friedel's post.


    Jamaica brought on goalkeeper Andre Blake after the interval and the 22-year-old was put to work almost immediately.


    He blocked a shot by Gylfi Sigurdsson from outside the area and then was quick to tip the rebound away from Mousa Dembele before the Belgian international could tap home.


    Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale was introduced in the 60th minute. His presence seemed to inspire both teams and drew a tremendous reaction throughout the expectant ground. The Welsh international delighted the fans in the 71st minute, dribbling through the legs of Alvas Powell within the box.


    With 15 minutes left in regulation, Jamaica's persistence was nearly rewarded. A forceful attempt by Darren Mattocks was well stopped by Spurs' substitute goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Hue tried to knock in the loose ball, only to miss wide.


    Shortly afterwards, Blake came up huge again, using his legs to rebuff Belgium's Jan Vertonghen.


    Bale thought he had set-up Steven Caulker for the game-winner in the 87th minute, but the defender was ruled off side.


    Jamaica will return home on Sunday in order to prepare for three upcoming World Cup Qualifying games, all against 2010 World Cup finals participants. The Reggae Boyz host Mexico and the United States on June 4 and June 7, respectively, before traveling to Honduras for a June 11 encounter.


    Tottenham's U.S. international Clint Dempsey, who is expected to play a key role in Kingston next month, did not suit up.

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