The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica defeated Canada by two-goals to-one in the third quarter-final match of the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup played at the University of Phoenix Stadium,Glendale,Arizona,USA.
Jamaica scored their first goal in the sixth minute of the match. A poor clearance by Steve Victoria was latched upon by Darren Mattocks who raced with the ball into Canada’s eighteen yard box, and from there he sent a diagonal backward pass to an onrushing Shaun Francis who shot the ball into the roof of the net.
Canada reacted immediately to the goal by moving forward in numbers to search of an equalizer. However, their open play exposed them to the counter-attacking play of Jamaica’s pacey strikers – Romario Francis and Mattocks.
Cyle Larin had a chance to equalize for Canada, but his header of Scot Artfield’s free kick flew over the crossbar.
Canada continued to dominate the game and enjoy majority of the ball possession. The Reggae Boyz withdrew to their own half of the pitch to defend, an approach they have adopted since this competition began.
Mattocks almost doubled the score in the sixteenth minute with his effort inside Canada’s penalty box, but Milan Borjan kicked the goal- bound ball far away from the goalpost.
Dejan Jakovic’s powerful header of a late Canada’s corner kick was deflected out penalty box by one of the tangles of legs protecting Jamaica’s goal mouth area.
On resumption of the second half; Jamaica , just as they did in the first half, scored their second goal in the early exchanges.
Mattocks, who gave the assist for the first goal, was on hand again to feed a pass to Romario outside Canada’s penalty box, the Charleston Battery’s loan-player spun the ball into the top corner of the net for Jamaica final goal of the match.
Mattock continued to trouble Canada’s back line with his pace , and it took the brilliant goal-keeping of Borjan to prevent his skillfully executed curling shot from entering the net.
Canada took total control of the match a little time after conceding the second goal. They dominated possession and started making inroads into Jamaica’s well-organized defensive formation.
Former Queen Park Rangers’ player, Junior Hoilett scored a spectacular goal from outside the eighteen yard box – a curling shot that caught the skilled Andre Blake unaware.
Hoilett became very active after his goal and was involved in most of Canada’s attacking play. And it was another brilliant goal-keeping effort of Blake that prevented him from scoring a second goal with his thunderous shot outside the eighteen yard box.
In the last fifteen minutes of the match, an inspired Canadian side poured forward in search of a goal and won many free kicks in their attempts; the resultant set-pieces that were all taken by Artfield were well-dealt with by Jamaica’s central defenders.
Second half substitute Lucas Cavallini and Artfield wasted opportunities to score in the dying minutes of the game.
The Reggae Boyz successfully defended their one goal lead till the end of the match.
Jamaica will now face the winner of Mexico and Honduras game which will take place at the venue of this match later today.