'Mapps' makes history
Adrian Mariappa was part of a Jamaican side making history this past weekend, as the Reggae Boyz picked up their first ever win over the USA.
It looked to be a routine outing for Jurgen Klinsmann’s American side as Tottenham Hotspur’s Clint Dempsey opened the scoring after just 35 seconds, but the home side hit back – with two free-kicks from Rodolph Austin and Luton Shelton grabbing a memorable win and sparking a pitch invasion at the National Stadium.
Jamaica now lead World Cup Qualifying Group A with seven points at the halfway stage, and will face the US once again in the return fixture in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday night.
4,500 miles away in Cardiff – there was less to celebrate for the Royals Welsh trio of Chris Gunter, Simon Church and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Gunter and Church started the game against a powerful Belgian outfit, but were powerless as James Collins saw red early on for Chris Coleman’s men - before goals from Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen sealed the victory.
Robson-Kanu replaced Church after 72 minutes.
Kaspars Gorkss also suffered defeat, despite his Latvia side taking a surprise early lead over Greece – only to see goals from Fanis Gekas and Nikos Spyropoulos steal the limelight.
The giant centre half wasn’t the only Reading representative in Riga over the weekend – as youngsters Shane Griffin and Pierce Sweeney won caps for Ireland under 19s in a friendly clash.
Griffin was unfortunate to deflect a first half cross past his own ‘keeper to give Latvia the lead – but the Irish fought back to snatch a deserved 1-1 draw, with Sweeney appearing as substitute early in the second half.
There are still a number of international fixtures to be played this week – with the Royals representatives shown below.
In addition, Alex Pearce has this weekend received his first call up to the full Ireland squad – click here to read more.
Chris Gunter, Hal Robson-Kanu, Simon Church
WCQ: Serbia v Wales, Tuesday 11th September, Novi Sad, Serbia
WCQ: Bosnia & Herzegovina v Latvia, Tuesday 11th SeptemberI Zenica, Bosnia
WCQ: USA v Jamaica, Tuesday 11th September, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Friendly: Czech Republic u21s v Wales u21s, Monday 10th September, Prague, Czech Republic