Wednesday 22 November, 2017

Reggae Boyz, El Salvador draw; both advance in Gold Cup

Jamaica and El Salvador sealed places in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals in the USA after playing to a 1-1 draw in their final Group C preliminary round fixture on Sunday at the Alamodome.

The result guaranteed the Reggae Boyz a top two finish in Group C, while El Salvador qualified as one of the top-two, third-place sides from the three-group competition. 

Mexico are on their way to win the group as they are leading Curacao 1-0 late in second half action.

The Reggae Boyz had qualified for the quarter-finals ahead of the game after Panama defeated Martinique 3-0 in their final Group B game on Saturday. The four points the Reggae Boyz had going into the game would be good enough to secure one of the two best third place teams.

El Salvador took a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, when Ruben Mayorquin picked up possession on the left wing and – while shifting towards the middle – slipped a splendid pass to Nelson Bonilla, who was unmarked at the upper-left of the box.  The forward raced closer to the net, held off a Damion Lowe challenge and beat goalkeeper Andre Blake with a left-shot from four-yards out into the far-side netting.

The Reggae Boyz equalized in the 64th minute as Darren Mattocks converted from the penalty after Narciso Orellana was judged to have handled Je-Vaughn Watson’s right-footed attempt.  It was Mattocks’ fourth goal in his last five Gold Cup games, extending his team record.

Jamaica, the 2015 runner-up, are now unbeaten in seven of their  last eight games in the competition.  El Salvador earned a quarterfinal berth for the fifth time in 10 attempts.