Reggae Boys given a boost by Burton

World Cup round-up
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The Independent Online
The Derby County striker Deon Burton scored the goal which gave Jamaica a 1-0 win over Canada on Sunday - and an unexpected glimpse of next year's World Cup finals.

One of a number of English-based players recruited by Jamaica this summer, Burton cracked a 55th-minute volley past Craig Forrest, the West Ham goalkeeper, to give the home side maximum points in their World Cup Concacaf zone final round qualifier in Kingston.

With three teams qualifying for France from a six-team group, Mexico lead the way with 11 points from five matches. The United States are second with nine from six and Costa Rica are third with eight from seven.

Jamaica lie fourth, behind Costa Rica on goal difference having played a game fewer. If the "Reggae Boys", as Jamaica are known, can beat Costa Rica in Kingston on Sunday, they will be well placed to qualify for the finals for the first time ahead of the more-fancied Costa Ricans, El Salvador and Canada.

A crowd of 35,000 packed Jamaica's National Arena for the match, with hundreds locked out. As well as Burton, the home side picked Wimbledon's Robbie Earle, and Paul Hall and Fitzroy Simpson of Portsmouth. Canada fielded West Bromwich Albion's Paul Peschisolido and Plymouth's Carlo Corazzin as well as Forrest.

The United States improved their chances of another appearance at the finals with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Portland, Oregon, Tab Ramos grabbing a 78th-minute winner which was set up the former Everton midfielder, Predrag Radosavljevic.

"We're well on our way [to France] now," said Steve Sampson, the American coach, who picked the Leicester goalkeeper Kasey Keller and Roy Wegerle, the former Queen's Park Rangers forward.

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