Boyz move on

Wasteful Boyz advance to Gold Cup 'quarters' after 1-1 draw with Cura

IAN BURNETT
SPORT EDITOR
AT THE CONCACAF GOLD CUP
In The USA

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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LOS ANGELES, California — Jamaica advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament despite squandering numerous chances which allowed Curaçao to steal a point in their 1-1 result in the final preliminary game inside Banc of California Stadium here yesterday.

Shamar “Bowza” Nicholson gave the Jamaicans a 14th-minute lead, but the wasteful Boyz kept their opponents in the game and paid the price with Jurien Gaari's late piledriver in time added.

The result guaranteed the Reggae Boyz a place in Sunday's quarter-finals against either hosts US or Panama in Philadelphia, but their final placing in Group C will be determined by the result of yesterday's second game in the double-header between El Salvador and Honduras.

Jamaica ended the group with five points, with El Salvador on four ahead of their game against Honduras, while Curaçao also ended on four points, with the already eliminated Honduras without a point.

The quarter-final match-ups will see the winners of Group C facing the runners-up of Group D, while the runners-up of Group C will face the winners of Group D.

The US currently lead Group D ahead of Panama on goal difference, with the two meeting to decide the group today.

In Los Angeles, last night, Jamaica made their intentions known from the get-go and launched a series of attacks which forced Curaçao on the back foot with Nicholson the main tormentor.

He had the crowd oohing and aahing early on when his fierce shot on goal was deflected inches wide of Eloy Room's left hand post for a right-sided corner. From the resulting Kemar Lawrence delivery, Damion Lowe powered a header on target only for a defender to rescue his team with an alert goalline block for another corner.

Je-Vaughn Watson got on the end of that resulting left-sided corner and played the ball back into the centre for the unmarked Nicholson to head powerfully down into the ground and over the horizontal much to the relief of Room.

The Jamaican pressure was intense and Nicholson again found space to head goalwards, only to be rewarded with the same result of another block by the retreating Curaçao defenders, and the danger was finally averted when Watson blasted high at the back post.

The pressure continued to mount and Nicholson was played in at the top of the penalty area and the former Boys' Town frontman weighed his option before rifling a grounder past Room, but against the left upright, and the follow-up effort, was also blocked by an alert Room.

But the pressure was too much for Curaçao and they wilted on 14 minutes when the onrushing Andre Lewis rifled a left-footer from the edge of the penalty area for the alert Nicholson to steer the ball home well out of the reach of the stranded Room.

It was no more than the Reggae Boyz deserved, though they gave up a chance towards the end of the first half when Jarchino Antonia was played through by Leandro Bacuna, but the wily winger dragged his left-footed effort well wide of Andre Blake's left hand post.

Immediately upon the resumption Jamaica made a deadly attack through the middle of the park and the ball was served nicely for the onrushing Devon Williams, whose side-footed effort was tipped over the top by Room.

Curaçao then took control of possession of the ball, but the Jamaicans were never really troubled, though they started to flag while giving away possession cheaply.

Still the Boyz were dangerous on the counter, and Nicholson had a glorious chance to increase the lead just after the hour mark, but his uncontested header from Lawrence's left-sided corner flashed over the top, and before long he was left with only Room to beat, but blasted his effort wildly off frame.

Curaçao accepted the gift and, as the Boyz tried to run down the clock, Gaari rammed home from well outside the crowded penalty area to give his team hope in the five minutes of time added, but in the end it proved too far a reach for them.

 

Teams:

Jamaica — Andre Blake, Kemar Lawrence, Shaun Francis, Damion Lowe (Michael Hector 70th), ALvas Powell, Andre Lewis (Kevon Lambert 73rd), Je-Vaughn Watson, Devon Williams (Tyreek Magee 87th), Ricardo Morris, Shamar Nicholson, Junior Flemmings

Subs not used: Dwayne Miller, Amal Knight, Jamoi Topey, Dever Orgill, Leon Bailey, Maalique Foster, Darren Mattocks, Peter Lee Vassell, Brian Brown

Booked: None

 

Curaçao — Eloy Room, Cuco Martina, Darry Lachman, Michael Maria (Shermaine Martina 62nd), Jarchino Antonia (Kenji Gorre 70th), Leandro Bacuna, Gevaro Nepomuceno, Jurien Gaari, Elso Hooi, Jafar Arias, Ayrton Statie (Gino Van Kessel 76th)

Subs not used: Jarzinho Pieter, Zeus De La Paz, Shemar Maryina, Jurich Carolina, Shanon Camelia, Kenji Gorre, Shermaine Martina, Gino Van Kessel, Zinjo Constansia, Jimbertson Vapor

Booked: Antonia (68th)

Referee: Marco Ortiz (Mexico)

Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Panjoj (Guatemala)

Assistant Referee 2: Caleb Wales (Trinidad and Tobago)

Fourth Official: Oliver Vergara (Panama)

Referee Assessor: Maria Tovar (Mexico)

Match Commissioner: Manuel Quintanilla (Nicaragua)


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