Los Angeles (AFP) – Jamaica defeated Canada 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday.
Goals in each half from Shaun Francis and Romario Williams secured victory for the ‘Reggae Boyz’, who will play Mexico or Honduras in the last four.
Jamaica, the beaten finalists in the 2015 Gold Cup, got off to a dream start at the University of Phoenix Stadium when Francis scored after only six minutes.
Forward Darren Mattocks pounced on a stumble from Canada defender Steven Vitoria and darted into the area before squaring for Francis who thumped his finish high into the roof of the net.
Mattocks almost doubled Jamaica’s lead shortly afterwards only for his shot to be well blocked by goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Canada striker Cyle Larin went close six minutes before the break but his shot was parried to safety by Andre Blake.
Jamaica doubled their lead five minutes into the second half with a sublime goal from Williams.
The Charleston Battery forward picked up Mattocks’ layoff before curling his shot from outside the area beyond Borjan.
Canada hit back with a superb long-range strike from Cardiff City’s Junior Hoilett to set up a nervy finale.
Hoilett came close to levelling with another thunderbolt from distance in the 71st minute, only to see his shot brilliantly turned around the post by Blake.