Gold Cup | Wasteful Jamaica top group after Curacao draw
Jamaica made it through to the last eight of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup after playing to a 1-1 draw with Curacao in their Group C game at the Banc of California Stadium on Tuesday.
Jurien Gaari's added time goal cancelled out Shamar Nicholson's 12 minute strike, however, the Jamaicans advanced to the next round with five points, one more than Curacao.
El Salvador's 4-1 loss to the previously pointless Honduras means that despite the result, the Reggae Boyz topped the group ahead of Curacao, which ended with a better goal difference than El Salvador.
Jamaica started well and had three great chances after just five minutes. The first fell to Nicholson, who did not get a clean strike and placed his shot wide. From the resulting corner Damion Lowe's header was deflected on to the post for another corner, from which Nicholson headed down and over with the goal at his mercy.
The Reggae boyz continued to raid their opponents and Nicholson and Watson missed good chances to put the team ahead. Jamaica should have taken the lead 12 minutes into the match but Nicholson hit the post with a curling shot and Andre Lewis kicked the rebound straight at goalkeeper Eloy Room.
But a minute later the pair combined to give Jamaica the lead when they rushed their opponents into a hurried clearance and Nicholson turned Lewis' off target volley home from six yards.
Curacao came close to an equaliser in the 19th minute but an alert Andre Blake tipped Jurien Gaari's goal-bound cross for a corner.
Jamaica continued to create good openings despite taking their foot off the gas and Lowe missed another great chance from another Kemar Lawrence corner 38 minutes in.
Jarchinio Antoni should have tied the game for Curacao but he dragged his shot wide with Andre Blake at his mercy. A minute after the interval Damion Williams almost put his name on the scoresheet but his effort, after being set up by Nicholson, was parried for a corner. Nicholson and Jamaica continued to waste chances and in the 61st minute he headed over from eight yards
But Curacao who desperately hunted the equaliser, forced Blake into a save twice after 70 minutes and Nicholson, who should have had a hattrick, then shot over from 12 yards. Curacao kept at it and in time added on, Gaari, hit a scorcher from the edge of the penalty area that gave Blake no chance.