ARLINGTON, Texas, USA – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz missed out on the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time in six years when they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to the United States in a tense quarter-final on Sunday night.
The Caribbean powerhouses were guilty of wasting several half-chances before Matthew Hoppe’s 83rd-minute header sealed their demise, with extra time looming at the AT&T Stadium in the southern United States.
Previously, the Reggae Boyz had reached the final four of the last three continental showpieces, progressing to the final in 2015 and 2017.
“It was a very tight game. It was a one-play game and unfortunately tonight we were on the wrong side, so it happens,” said goalkeeper Andre Blake.
“There were still a lot of positives from the game. We just have to go back and look at some film and get ready for the World Cup qualifiers.”
Jamaica made a bright start to the encounter and even though conceding most of the possession to the hosts, had perhaps the better of the chances.
Cory Burke teed up Alvas Powell in the 14th minute but the full back’s weak shot was easily held low down by goalkeeper Matt Turner.
And Jamaica came close again in the 19th minute when Devon Williams picked out Junior Flemmings on the left side of the 18-yard box from the centre circle, the Birmingham Legion forward skimming his shot wide from 12 yards.
At the other end three minutes later, Blake denied Hoppe at the near post and Oniel Fisher, who replaced the injured Powell in the 28th minute, did well with a sliding tackle to stymie Daryl Dike’s threatening advance on goal at the near post in the 36th minute.
Perhaps Jamaica’s best chance arrived in the 39th minute when Burke yet again picked out Flemmings, who beat Kellyn Acosta with a slick turn and curled a goal-bound volley from 22-yards which Turner pushed away acrobatically at the far post.
After the break, Fulham’s Bobby Reid was saved at the near post by Turner in the 50th before Blake kept his side in the game in the 66th minute by parrying a long-range blast from Gyasi Zardes, who had entered the contest only three minutes earlier.
The United States increased their pressure in the final third as the game moved towards full time and were eventually rewarded.
Burke cleared a loose ball from the edge of the box but it fell to Myles Robinson in midfield, the 24-year-old feeding full-back Shaq Moore in an advanced position on the right.
Moore then put through 63rd-minute substitute Cristian Roldan who lifted a cross in at the far post and watched as Hoppe evaded both Fisher and Damion Lowe, along with Blake coming off his line and missing a punch, to nod home.
In Thursday’s semi-finals, the US will now take on guest nation Qatar while Mexico clashes with Canada.