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Great Dane bites for the Boyz

GREAT DANE: Richards in action during last month's qualifier against the USA

DANE RICHARDS left it late to book Jamaica's Reggae Boyz into the final
round of the 2014 World Cup Qualifying with his 88th minute strike in
Kingston on Tuesday.

The striker, on target in the 78th minute, bagged a precious brace as the Boyz
achieved their required three-goal winning margin over minnows Antigua &
Barbuda at the "Office" - aka the National Stadium.

Theodore Whitmore's troops roared to an emphatic 4-1 success in Kingston
to book their berth for the 2014 World Cup final qualifying stages for the
CONCAF region - but only after they discovered that USA defeated
Guatemala.

The Reggae Boyz only booked their berth in the final group of six courtesy of
superior goal difference over Guatemala, who lost 3-1 in the USA.

Head coach Whitmore, who faced a tough task following Friday's reversal in
Guatemala, had called on supporters to back his players - and they came out
in the droves to help keep the National Stadium the cauldron it has been
for so many seasons.

Richards' second-half double added to early strikes from Demar Phillips
and Nyron Nosworthy, but the celebrations only began on the pitch when
news filtered through from Kansas City of USA's triumph over Guatemala.

Two goals in as many minutes set up the Boyz from the defensive duo of
Phillips (17) and Nosworthy (18).

But lively midfielder Quentin Griffith reduced the deficit on 63 minutes,
and the visitors frustrated the Jamaicans until Richards pounced 12 minutes
from the end.

Still desperately seeking another goal Richards clinched the three-goal
margin with 100 seconds remaining, sending the National Stadium wild with
delight.

The final six sides competing for the two automatic places in the 2014
World Cup finals comprises USA and Jamaica from group one, Mexico and Costa
Rica from group two, plus Panama and Honduras from group three.

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