Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz didn’t see much of the ball, but they took their chances to hold on for a 2-2 draw against World Cup-bound South Korea in their friendly international in Turkey on Tuesday morning (Jamaica time).
The world 59th ranked ‘Red Devils’ controlled much of the possession throughout the game, which was played at the Mardan Sports Complex, but it was the Reggae Boyz who made the first real mark on the game when Dane Kelly turned his defender and sent a well placed shot into the back of the net to send the Jamaicans ahead in the fourth minute of play.
The second half was characterised by the South Koreans dominating the play and the Jamaicans retreating in defence, but the Theodore Whitmore – conditioned Reggae Boyz held their own to take their advantage into the half-time break.
Greater pressing and quicker passes in the final third, turned things around for the South Koreans, who gained parity in the 55th minute when the towering Kim Shin-Wook steered a free header into the back of the net after he was picked out unmarked close to the six-yard box.
Shin-Wook again popped up unmarked in the box to glance a well-weighed pass beyond Jamaican goalkeeper Amal Knight in the 63rd minute of play.
However, the Jamaicans pulled level with a wonderful strike from Maalique Foster, who found the top corner from a strike from distance in the 72nd minute.
The South Koreans were almost gifted a goal in the dying moments of the game when substitute goalkeeper Shaven-Sean Paul had to dive to his left to save a shot which came after his own misplaced pass. The escape job was not finished, however, as the custodian’s parried save was pounced upon by a South Korea attacker, whose shot was then saved off the line by a Jamaican defender.