It was not a big win, nor a pretty one, nor was it well attended; but Jamaica's Men's National Team got the three points required in Caribbean Cup qualifying to top its group and salvage something worthwhile from a disappointing 2016.
The 1-0 win over Suriname guarantees the Reggae Boyz a place in next year's Gold Cup, where they can at least try to match or better their run to the final of the 2015 edition. And the reigning Caribbean Cup champion will be present in the final rounds of the 2017 tournament; joining Curacao, French Guiana, and Martinique in next summer's final four.
For the win, Jamaica can thank Cory Burke, who scored the only goal of the game.
It was Cory Burke breaking forward and firing past Kohinoor, 1-0 Jamaica— Caribbean Football (@caribbeanfooty) November 13, 2016
The 24-year-old spent 2016 with Bethlehem Steel in USL, but has perhaps given his profile a boost with goals in back-to-back games in Caribbean Cup qualifying.
33' Damion Lowe has been sent off by Wilson da Costa for a poor challenge and an alleged stamp, Jamaica down to 10, still 1-0 Jamaica— Caribbean Football (@caribbeanfooty) November 13, 2016
The 23-year-old defender is the son of a legendary Jamaican striker, but his actions reminded at least one observer of one of the less-inspiring tendencies of his father:
His father Onandi Lowe was also quite fond of the frequent senselessness himself. Hope the youngster does better going forward https://t.co/WcGO0CIZix— Andre Lowe (@AndreLoweJA) November 13, 2016
The team that beat Suriname was some distance from the most experienced or highest-profile lineup Jamaica can muster.
Jamaica XI: A Blake, R Harriott, D Lowe, Dic. Williams, E Grandison, C Burke, M Binns, S Francis, Din. Williams, O Gordon, D Ambusley— Caribbean Football (@caribbeanfooty) November 13, 2016
But the somewhat makeshift squad (and interim head coach Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore) got the job done. The Reggae Boyz will have meaningful international competitions to play next year, and for that they must thank the players who secured this mid-November win over Suriname.
Next year's Caribbean Cup finals are scheduled for June 22 to 25. The 2017 Gold Cup is scheduled for July 7 to 26. The New York Red Bulls' Kemar Lawrence can expect to be considered for selection Jamaica's squad for both tournaments.