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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Fulham's Decordova-Reid succeeds where his Jamaica pal fails


Photo: Wikimedia Commons


By Alessandro Schiavone


On a night when Bobby Decordova-Reid’s sumptuous strike made sure of FA Cup matters for Fulham against lowly Rotherham, his Jamaican international teammate Shamar Nicholson’s lack of cutting edge almost cost Clermont in the Coupe de France against Metz.

 

Jamaica last qualified for a FIFA World Cup back in 1998 in France. And the Reggae Boyz’s hopes of returning to the big stage are heavily pinned on Aston Villa’s man of the hour Leon Bailey as well as on the 30-year-old Cottager and Nicholson. But while the latter looks like a monster when sporting his country’s shirt, he's struggling to catch fire in French football as his two goals in 13 Ligue 1 outings confirm.

 

With the USA, Canada and Mexico automatically qualified as hosts, Jamaica now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance of doing what legends Robbie Earlie and Theodore Whitmore did a quarter-of-a-century ago. The pair remain to this day the only Jamaicans to have scored at football’s biggest tournament. Hull City’s one-timer Whithmore's brace floored Japan while ex-Wimbledon star Earle netted an academic goal in their 3-1 loss to Croatia. Likewise, Decordova-Reid and Nicholson are the last players on target for Jamaica with the pair combining to devastating effect in their 3-2 win in Canada six weeks ago.

 

Yet for Jamaica to peak again, Nicholson has to fire on all cylinders. And yesterday he hardly made a case for the Carribeans' long-awaited return by missing three chances either side of Metz midfielder Sadibou Sane’s brilliant opener. First, he blasted a volley over, then missed the target after taking out two Metz defenders with a spectacular thrn before failing to test Alexandre Oukidja again, dragging his shot wide.

 

Yet just like his flourishing international teammate, the hit-and-miss striker can take solace in the fact that Clermont, like Fulham,are through to the next round. Hero of the day? Massamba Ndiaye, who parried three Metz penalties in the shootout.





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