Robinson sets his sights on a World Cup spot after a memorable Jamaica debut
THEO Robinson has set his sights on the next World Cup after getting his first taste of international football.
Robinson made his debut for Jamaica last week, helping the Reggae Boyz to an impressive goalless draw against Mexico at the iconic Azteca Stadium.
It was Jamaica's first match in the final round of North, Central America and Caribbean zone qualifying for Brazil 2014.
Theodore Whitmore's side are battling it out with five other teams for three places at the World Cup, with an intercontinental play-off spot also up for grabs.
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And their hopes of reaching the finals will have been lifted following their unexpected exploits in Mexico City.
The stalemate ended Mexico's run of 25 consecutive competitive victories at the Azteca, dating back to 2001.
It is only the seventh time ever that they have failed to win a home qualifier and the first time they have failed to score since 1997.
Jamaica had lost all seven of their previous visits to Mexico, so had reason to celebrate.
Birmingham-born Robinson played his part, coming on eight minutes into the second half to earn his first cap – replacing Sheffield Wednesday's Jermaine Johnson.
"We got the draw and could have won the game, to be fair," said the 24-year-old.
"It was a great experience for me, especially getting on as early as I did.
"I thought we dominated the game and created the better chances.
"I felt sharp when I came on and I could have scored.
"It was a proud moment for me – and all my family and friends, especially my grandparents.
"My mum and dad were born over here but my grandparents are from Jamaica.
"I've been over there quite a few times, so it's a real honour to play for them.
"I didn't swap shirts afterwards. I wanted to keep my own, so I can get it framed."
Robinson was scouted by the Jamaicans during Derby's Championship match at Millwall in November.
He was one of nine British-based players named in the squad, with Reading's former Nottingham Forest forward Garath McCleary, the only other uncapped member.
"I travelled over with some of the other players from London," said Robinson.
"We flew to Atlanta and then to Mexico City.
"I already knew (Adrian) Mariappa and Jobi McAnuff (of Reading) and my room-mate out there was (Bristol City midfielder) Marvin Elliott."
The Azteca Stadium is the only ground to have hosted two World Cup finals – in 1970 and 1986.
It was also the setting for Diego Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" goal for Argentina against England.
"When we got to the stadium, there was an amazing 'wow' factor," said Robinson.
"Just to be involved was special – but to get a good result and end their winning record made it even better.
"The Mexican fans clapped us off afterwards and were even chanting 'ole' when we passed the ball. That was a great feeling."
Jamaica have two games next month – at home to Panama and away to Costa Rica.
Panama and Costa Rica drew 2-2 last week, with the USA suffering a 2-1 defeat to Honduras.
"I think we've got a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup," said Robinson.
"We've got two games in March and, hopefully, I will get called up for those.
"I'm hungry for more now.
"You get loads more time on the ball, so you're able to really express yourself.
"The Mexican defenders were scared of my pace and every time I knocked it past them, they brought me down and I won a free kick.
"Hopefully, international football will suit my game."