Reggae Boyz beat Suriname for 3rd victory at Concacaf Nations League
Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti took big steps toward qualifying for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup with victories in week three of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Qualifying on Saturday.
Jamaica (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) and Suriname (1W-1D-1L, 4 points) produced a nail-biter, with the Reggae Boyz emerging victorious 2-1 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
A Cory Burke header (7th minute) and a Darren Mattocks penalty conversion (16th minute) outweighed Donnegy Fer’s sweep into net (36th minute) to give the win to the 2015 and 2017 Gold Cup finalists.
The Reggae Boyz will close out the Nations League qualifying play-offs with an away meeting with Central American outfit El Salvador on March 23, 2019.
Cuba (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) slipped past the Dominican Republic (2W-0D-1L, 6 points) 1-0 at the Estadio Pedro Marrera in Havana.
Yordan Santa Ctuz pounced on a loose ball in the area in the 83rd minute and fired in to earn the three points for the Cubans.
Undefeated Haiti (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) managed to overcome an early red card and handed Nicaragua (2W-0d-D-1L, 6 points) their first defeat in a 2-0 final at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol in Managua.
Miki Cantave took advantage of a Nicaragua error to make it 1-0 in the 12th minute, which was followed three minutes later by Wilde-Donald Guerrier’s sending off for the visitors.
Haiti hung tough though and even extended their lead through Derrick Etienne Jr. in the 31st minute before seeing those out in the second half for the three points.
Rounding out the action was a 0-0 draw between Cayman Islands and Saint Lucia at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town.
The stars of the night were the goalkeepers, with each making big saves, including a spectacular stop from point-blank range by Cayman Islands GK Ramon Sealy.
Following the qualifying rounds, teams will be placed in Leagues A, B, and C of the three-tier Concacaf Nations League.
The Concacaf Nations League embraces a promotion and demotion system and will serve to seed teams and serve, importantly, as a qualifying platform for the expanded Gold Cup, which will have for the first time 16 teams for 2019 edition.