Aldo de Nigris scored in the 48th minute to give unbeaten Mexico a 1-0 victory over Jamaica on Tuesday in a North American qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup.
De Nigris, a 29-year-old forward who plays for Monterrey of the Mexican league, headed home a cross from defender Carlos Salcido for the only goal to lift the Mexicans atop the six-team CONCACAF regional qualifying group.
Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts denied Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the 62nd minute, and deflected a 1-on-1 effort by the English Premier League star with a right hand in the 84th minute.
However, the “Reggae Boyz” could not muster the equalizer off a corner-kick in stoppage-time and suffered a stinging blow to their hopes of reaching next year’s global soccer showdown in Brazil, remaining last in the group.
The Mexicans won after opening with three draws to move atop the table with six points after four matches, one point ahead of Panama and two in front of Costa Rica, the US and Honduras with Jamaica last.
The three top teams among the six nations in the North American round-robin series will qualify for Brazil, while the fourth-placed finisher must face New Zealand to decide another berth in next year’s global soccer spectacle.
“El Tricolor” have played an extra match. They made the trip to Kingston two weeks earlier than first planned because they will play later this month in the FIFA Confederations Cup, forcing the Jamaica match to be moved ahead.
Mexico will continue a run of three qualifiers in eight days tomorrow against Panama in a showdown for the top of the table and return home on Tuesday next week to face Costa Rica.