HARRISON, N.J. (May 26, 2014) – On Memorial Day, Red Bull Arena was the venue for a historic friendly between Serbia and Jamaica. The contest was the first ever encounter between the two countries and ended with a 2-1 scoreline in Serbia’s favor.
Dušan Tadić, one part of a strong Serbian side, paced his country with a goal and an assist while DC United’s 18-year-old forward Michael Seaton scored his second international goal during a more evenly-contested second half.
Serbia enjoyed the vast majority of possession and scored both of their goals after swift and clever build-up play, both assisted via give-and-go’s. Serbia had 11 shots, five on target, to Jamaica’s four while forcing Andre Blake into three saves.
Just three minutes into the match, Blake was caught off his line after a poor back-pass from a defender but Lazar Marković’s bullet attempt rattled the crossbar. Jamaica’s best chance of the first half came late when Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks dribbled past two defenders at the top of the box and fired a shot that had to be parried away by keeper Vladimir Stojković.
The second half saw nine changes for both teams and Jamaica growing in confidence, especially after Seaton’s headed goal. The Reggae Boyz outshot the Serbs, 7-5, in the second half but just two of those seven were on-target.
With just minutes until the final whistle, Manchester City left back Aleksandar Kolarov was brought down just inside the box by sub Hughan Gray. Kolarov stepped up to the spot but saw his shot saved by the MLS rookie Blake low and to his right.
Blake, having not made a single MLS regular season appearance yet in his career, picked up his third international cap. Other players who appeared in the match and play or have played in MLS include Mattocks, Colorado’s Deshorn Brown, Portland’s Alvas Powell, and former Sporting Kansas City forward Simon Dawkins, who earned his first international cap.
The next international friendly to be hosted by Red Bull Arena will be the United States taking on Turkey on June 1. Following that is Greece/Bolivia on June 6.
Serbia 2, Jamaica 1
May 26, 2014
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
SER: Dušan Tadić (Zoran Tosić) 13’
SER: Aleksandar Kolarov (Dušan Tadić) 22’
JAM: Michael Seaton (Kemar Lawrence) 53’
JAM: Upston Edwards (caution) 86’
Serbia: Vladimir Stojković; Nemanja Gudelj, Nemanja Pejčinović, Branislav Ivanović ©, Aleksandar Kolarov; Lazar Marković (Dušan Basta 60’), Dušan Tadić, Nemanja Matić (Radoslav Petrović 86’), Zoran Tošić, Miloš Jojić; Aleksandar Mitrović (Filip Dordević 69’)
Substitutes not used: Željko Brkić, Duško Tošić, Stefan Mitrović
Jamaica: Andre Blake; Chris Humphrey (Hughan Gray 71’), Lloyd Doyley, Alvas Powell, Upston Edwards; Joel Grant (Romario Campbell 78’), John-Ross Edwards (Nicholas Beckett 45’), Rodolph Austin, Kemar Lawrence (Nicholay Finlayson 74’); Simon Dawkins (Deshorn Brown 83’), Darren Mattocks (Michael Seaton 45’)
Substitutes not used: Dwayne Miller, Jacomeno Barrett
Referee: Dave Gantar
Referee’s Assistants: Phil Briere and Daniel Belleau
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero