Reggae Boyz hero in Nicaragua Simon Dawkins said he has scored some important club goals over the years but ranked his goal in Managua last month as the most important of his career. The Derby County attacker believes no goal he has scored to date can eclipse the one he scored in Central America to put his country through to the next stage of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. “In my career, this is probably the most important (goal). I have scored quite a few important goals in terms of winning championships and winning leagues, but this is international football, and it is better than club football, it’s a lot harder, and I helped the country to make the next step,” Dawkins told The Gleaner. Ja-Panama match Jamaica will play Panama at 9 p.m. tonight in a semi-final stage FIFA World CUP qualifier at the National Stadium. “When you come on, you want to make an impact in whatever way, and I had a feeling that if I had one chance I would score and, thankfully, I put it away,” Dawkins said. “It was an important goal for the country and a step towards the World Cup. But it wasn’t just nice for me, but for the whole nation and my teammates. “So it’s definitely good to score and, hopefully, I can get a next one in this game as well. But I am taking it a step at a time as I just want to help the team however I can,” he continued. The goal was also a great source of renewed confidence for the England-born player, and he hopes it will lead to more playing time and eventually more international goals. “It was one of those things where I found myself not starting but if I can come on and make an impact like I did, I am happy to do that. Any goal or every time I play for Jamaica it’s an honour and it boost my confidence because it’s another cap I have, but if you score goals it is important and brilliant as well. “Hope I get some playing time (today) and I hope to score if I do get some playing time. I want to be a part of it (start) but hopefully the coach pick the best team and we are able get the result that we need, to make that next step, he stated.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers will miss Sunday’s one-day international against Ireland to allow himself further recovery time from an elbow injury ahead of a five-match series against Australia.His availability for the home series against Australia, which starts next week, would be subject to him passing a fitness test, Cricket South Africa said on Thursday.De Villiers missed the recent series win over New Zealand due to the injury, which was the first time he has been forced to sit out a Test since his debut in 2004.”AB has been on a rigorous rehabilitation and treatment plan for the last six weeks but is still complaining of pain in the elbow region,” team manager Mohammed Moosajee said in a statement.”We hope that the extra time will allow the injury to respond to treatment.”De Villiers, 32, last played ODI three months back against West Indies in June, 2016. Faf du Plessis will captain the team in the one-off match against Ireland in Benoni, near Johannesburg, and Rilee Rossouw has been added to the squad as batting cover.