Two years after their stunning finals appearance, Jamaica is back into the Gold Cup semifinals after holding off Junior Hoilett and Canada 2-1.
Shaun Francis put Jamaica in front just five minutes into the match, as Darren Mattocks expertly cut back to the far side of the box where Francis was trailing the play, and the Montreal Impact full-back put the Reggae Boyz in front.
There was no more action until past the halftime break. Jamaica doubled its lead thanks to a superb strike by Romario Williams, who leaned back and rifled one off the hands of goalkeeper Milan Borjan and into the top corner.
Darren Mattocks got his second assist of the game on the goal with his little nudge backwards to Williams at the top of the box.
The two-goal cushion wouldn’t last long, however, as the fireworks show continued. Now, it was Canada’s turn to put on a show as Junior Hoilett stunned the crowd with a long-distance curler from even further outside the box than Williams’ just 11 minutes earlier.
That would do it for the scoring, although the show wasn’t completely over. With just 15 minutes left, Hoilett unleashed another would-be stunner, but Andre Blake matched the shot with a spectacular save, getting his fingertips to the shot to keep it out.
Blake was critical down the stretch to squelch any chances Canada had late as they pushed for an equalizer. The Reggae Boyz held on to reach the semifinal, where they will take on either Mexico or Honduras.