Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Blake look to continue Gold Cup run

Published:Saturday | July 22, 2017 | 7:00 AMMarc Stamp
Jamaica's Damion Lowe (left), celebrates with teammate goalkeeper Andre Blake during Jamaica's Gold Cup match against Canada at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Jamaica won 2-1. (AP Photo)

Jamaica's captain and goalkeeper Andre Blake is looking to continue his outstanding performance when the team face-off against the region's kingpin Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final tomorrow.

The Reggae Boyz booked their spot with a 2-1 win against Canada, while the Mexicans edged Honduras 1-0 in quarter-final action. Both games were played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Thursday evening.

Shaun Francis sent the Reggae Boyz into the lead when he blasted home in the sixth minute. Romario Williams scored the second goal in the 55th minute. However, David Hoilett pulled a goal back for the Canadian in the 61st minute.

Blake made some excellent saves during the last eight game and earned the Man-of-the Match award for his performance between the sticks.

The Canadians gave Blake lots to do in the second half and the custodian put in a hard day's work, especially a brilliant save from a shot by Hoilett which arrived from distance.

 

Vital assists

 

Striker Darren Mattocks came up with the assists on both Jamaican goals and also went close to scoring on two occasions.

"It has been great, I just have to keep doing what I am doing for the team, whatever it takes. It has been a great run, from now every game is like a final," Blake told journalists after the game.

"Now, we are in the semi-final, it will be about us, we just have to go and execute the game plan," he said.

Looking back at the victory against Canada, Blake pointed out that it was a great match.

"It wasn't easy, Canada is a great team. We knew that it was not going to be an easy game. All the guys came out and stick together. We fight and won, so it is a very good feeling. When we got the second goal, we got a break and lapse a little bit. They scored a beautiful goal. We dug deep, figured it out and won," added Blake who only conceded twice in four games at the Gold Cup so far.

Jamaica and Mexico will be playing in the 2017 Gold Cup for the second time. Both teams battled to a 0-0 draw during the group stage.

The semi-final match, which is a repeat of the last final is scheduled for the Rose Bowl in California, starting at 8 p.m.