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We have sent a message, says McCleary

Published:Friday | July 24, 2015 | 7:00 AM

ATLANTA, Georgia:

Reggae Boy Garath McCleary says big teams in world football should take note of Jamaica's historic win over the United States at the Georgia Dome.

The Jamaicans beat the United States of America (USA) for the first time, winning 2-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup football semi-final on Wednesday to qualify for the final for the first time.

Strikers Darren Mattocks (31st) and Giles Barnes (36th) scored goals five minutes apart for Jamaica, while Michael Bradley scored for the United States at the 48th minute.

"This team can go as far as we want, and I hope world football has really taken notice today. The US has beaten some really big teams in the past and no one expected it," McCleary said of Jamaica's win over the 34th-ranked Americans, who have won the Gold Cup on five of the 12 tournaments.

"We're in the final and anything is possible. If we dream it and we believe it, anything can happen," he added.

The Reggae Boyz, ranked 76 by FIFA, are now the first Caribbean country to qualify for the Gold Cup final. They had been to the semis twice: in 1993 when they placed joint third; and 1998 when Jamaica also created history by reaching the World Cup Finals for the first time.

"Over the moon!" was McCleary's first reaction to Wednesday's win. "They had not lost for 26 games, we'd been underdogs from the very beginning when we first kicked the ball. Even people right at the top didn't believe we'd get this far, but we're here.

- A.B.