Wednesday Kickoff: Mexico top Jamaica in HEX; Everton set to unveil Martinez; and more

AldodeNigrisGoalJamaica (AP)

By DAN KARELL

When the final whistle blew at Independence Park, a nation sighed in relief.

For the first time in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal stage and in 2013 overall, Mexico finished a match as the winner, taking a 1-0 result on the road against Jamaica. Aldo de Nigris was El Tri’s hero, heading home a curling cross from the veteran Carlos Salcido to take the lead in the 48th minute.

Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, as he has done all season in Major League Soccer, stood on his head to keep Mexico from scoring even more, but the Reggae Boyz were unable to find an equalizer. Marvin Elliott had Jamaica’s best chance of the night, but with a wide open net in front of him he headed wide of goal.

The win takes Mexico, for the time being, to the top of the Hex with six points from four games. Right behind them are Honduras with five, and Costa Rica and the United States with four points. The loss keeps Jamaica in the cellar, with just two points from four games and a must-win match on Friday against the United States.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

EVERTON TO UNVEIL MARTINEZ AS MANAGER

Roberto Martinez has had a wild last 30 days. From the highs of winning an FA Cup to the lows of being relegated with Wigan, the Spaniard is now just hours away from making his own move back into the Premier League.

Always thought to be atop the shortlist ever since David Moyes left for Manchester United, Everton are set to officially announce Martinez to become the next manager at Goodison Park.

Last Monday, Everton and Wigan agreed on a compensation package worth a reported $2.3 million to buy Martinez out of his contract and make him free to move to Merseyside. The 39-year-old will take over a side that finished an amazing sixth in the table, despite having such a small first team squad at hand.

Since retiring as a player in 2007, Martinez managed at Swansea City until 2009, where he moved to Wigan, miraculously keeping them in the Premier League until this past season, though he was able to win England’s most famous cup competition, something David Moyes never accomplished.

LIGA MX ANNOUNCE APERTURA FIXTURES

Make sure to circle October 19th in your calender.

Liga MX released the fixture list for the upcoming Apertura season, with a rematch of the epic playoff final between Cruz Azul and Club America coming on October 19. Other matches to keep an eye on are UANL Tigris vs. America on July 20, Monterrey vs. Tijuana on August 20, and UNAM Pumas vs. Santos Laguna on October 6.

The release also set the groups for the Copa MX group stage, with Group Two featuring Tigres and Santos Laguna battling for one spot. Just like the Clausura, at season’s end, there will be a three-round playoffs culminating in the two-legged final.

QUICK KICKS

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have been called in to lead Uruguay’s Confederations Cup squad. (REPORT)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has left open the possibility of Zinedine Zidane becoming part of the coaching staff at the Spanish giant. (REPORT)

Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna is reportedly considering a move back to his native France as talks continue over a contract extension with the London club. (REPORT)

West Ham have had a bid for La Liga top scorer Alvaro Negredo rejected. (REPORT)

With the likelihood of midfielders Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving this summer, Shakhtar Donetsk have signed Brazilians Wellington Nem from Fluminense and Fernando of Gremio. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Did you doubt Mexico’s chances of winning on Tuesday? Do you see Martinez finding success at Everton? Any other Liga MX fixtures stand out to you?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Mexico top Jamaica in HEX; Everton set to unveil Martinez; and more

  1. Shane says:

    I think Martinez will struggle to have the success Moyes had. He hasnt shown he can get it done in the premier league in my opinion. Moyes overachieved considering his player salary budget, Martinez did not, always finishing about where his player budget ranked, sometimes below

  2. biff says:

    Did not see this Jamaica-Mexico game, but some comments on the other thread imply some bad calls by the ref late in the game. Is this correct? And if yes, was Mexico the beneficiary?

    • Jacknut says:

      There was a pretty bad offsides call at the end of the game that, had it been called correctly, would have put 4 Reggae Boyz in on goal alone. But given the way they were shooting, it may not have been enough. Corona also had a solid match last night, but isn’t getting much credit.

      • HoboMike says:

        Corona’s kick save was absolutely stunning.

        Both teams looked shorn of any type of creativity.

        • keithbabs79 says:

          Agreed. First time watching a soccer game where I constantly changed the channel during breaks in the run of play. The first half reminded me of two MLS doormats duking it out for last place. Just awful.

        • TomG says:

          I”m assuming that the pitch resembled an Afghanistan mine field. Can anyone confirm?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      For the first half, both teams played to recent form, Jamaica was interesting playing possession ball, Mexico was whacking crosses in the box. But in the second half I thought the teams reverted to stereotype, Mexico finally started working the ball into the final third by passing, and Jamaica got sloppy. Jamaica had their chances and did not convert. The result was pretty fair IMO.

      There was a late play where a ball deflected off a Mexican player but was called offsides on Jamaica still. I’ve never been 100% sure even having played whether a deflection is a “pass back” that removes the offsides rule. Beyond that I don’t remember any “talking points” type calls.

      The good news for us was Mexico ran them a lot and they had to chase the game. Hopefully that will help this weekend.

      • bryan says:

        deflection = not offside. has to be an intentional pass according to the FIFA video.

  3. Scott e Dio93 says:

    It was a sad for the good people, while evil won.

  4. Jon says:

    Avoiding comment on Mexico as I don’t want to look like a fool if/when the USMNT fails to convince on Friday.

  5. Tony in Quakeland says:

    A weak game, and Mexico is hardly clicking on all cylinders like they were a couple years ago. They are pretty flat. As for Jamaica, they will be desperate on Friday. There is danger in that, but they are not a good team. We need to score early to finish them off

    • Nate says:

      Early and often!

    • Adam says:

      Agree completely! Mexico could have put 3 or 4 in and it wouldn’t have been a game.

      Having said that Jamaica seemed to have an amazing ability to use their athletic ability and speed to get in decent positons. It kind of looked like they were playing a pick-up game in a park with their complete lack of ideas moving the ball up the field when Mexico pressed them high. They were hitting balls 20-30 yards trying to reach a striker to hold the ball up. it didnt work often but when it did, they looked dangerous. This pressing is something the US can really capitalize on.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I agree with you to the extent they could fly down the flanks but they couldn’t serve a ball to save their life. We used to play Watson at RM before Boniek and Driver and I think you saw last night why it was pointless.

        Jamaica to me looked better in the first half when they were knocking it around. But I think Mexico changed their gameplan at half time and after that Jamaica looked sloppy.

        That being said, Jamaica was a few headers away from a tie. The header the guy bounced off the ground and wide probably would have gone in if he’d done the less-professional approach and just headed it on a level into the corner….like Mexico’s winner headed right through the keeper.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Not completely sure….but thought I read somewhere that the Jamaican side was missing a number of the European players for this match (Injury and/or late arrivals in camp). If that is accurate the US may be facing a completely different squad come Friday. And since it is basically a Must Win for Jamaica we better be ready from the start.

  6. Raymon says:

    I’m lookin for “Deuceface” on Friday!

  7. Dinho says:

    Watched most of the game. Jamaica had absolutely no answer when Mexico applied high pressure, especially on Jamaica’s backline. When that was done, Jamaica resorted mostly to lumping it forward, which (sadly) reminded me of our USMNT backline at times.

    I am no expert, but hopefully JK saw this (he was in the stands) and takes on the same high pressure approach to force errors and an early goal.

    Wow, I sound way too optimistic for this site.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I felt like they were missing Taylor, who’s out with a shoulder injury.

  8. Skifast! says:

    I expect Klinsmann to learn from what he saw in that match and have the boys apply high pressure on Jamaica; at least, I am hopeful. After all, on Sunday he showed the williness to implement specific tactics for specific teams in preparation for a game (i.e., high pressure on goal kicks, helped cause an own-goal).

  9. bryan says:

    i hope everyone understands our game will likely be just as sloppy. the field is terrible.

    • Luis says:

      You’re soooo wrong my friend and that’s probably because you don’t speak Spanish and US coverage of futbol pretty much sucks…the Mexican officials had commented that the field was in great condition and the best they’ve ever seen that field in the history of WC qualifying.

  10. bryan says:

    also, with Carlo locked at PSG, Martinez going to Everton, and now ze German saying he is taking a year off…Madrid might not have a choice but to include Zidane in the coaching staff. and frankly, Zidane could do well there. he’s already made them hold onto Jese Rodriguez (thank god) and he must have been involved in calling Carvajal back. really curious to see what happens with the coaching spot at Madrid.

    • Sly says:

      I was sort of hoping Jesse Rodriguez could be used in exchange for Suarez plus 35 million pounds but i think the salivation of fellow liverpool fans gave away how bad an idea that would be.