Olympic champions Mexico made a stuttering start to their bid for a 15th World Cup finals appearance when they were held to a goalless draw by Jamaica at the Azteca Stadium on Wednesday.
The opening three games of CONCACAF’s final phase of qualifying witnessed another surprise as Honduras rallied to overcome the US 2-1, while Costa Rica battled from two goals down to draw in Panama in the other match.
Jamaica produced a superbly disciplined and organized team effort to contain Mexico and scare them on the break, and the Reggae Boyz could well have headed home with all three points.
Reading midfielder Jobi McAnuff should have scored for the visitors in the eighth minute after his initial shot struck the post and he scuffed the rebound into the welcoming arms of Mexico goalkeeper Jose Corona.
Corona was in action again when he tipped a Rodolph Austin effort wide as Jamaica created the chances despite Mexico enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
After the break, Jamaica forward Ryan Johnson shot timidly at Corona after breaking through on goal and then it was the turn of Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to spring into action as he twice foiled Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez from close range.
Honduras will be even more buoyant after they rallied for a deserved win over Juergen Klinsmann’s team in San Pedro Sula.
The Americans took the lead through a Clint Dempsey volley in the 35th minute.
However, Juan Carlos Garcia brought Honduras level four minutes later and the home side dominated the second half.
Los Catrachos grabbed the winner in the 78th minute when Jerry Bengtson took advantage of some woeful defending to score.