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Jamaica’s Boyz Are Better Than Canada’s Boys

The Boyz are alright.

For all the hype surrounding Canadian youngsters Alphonso Davies (16 years old) and Cyle Larin (22), it was the Reggae Boyz who impressed most Thursday evening in Phoenix. Jamaica edged Canada 2-1 in the Gold Cup quarterfinals to set up a date with Mexico or Honduras in the semifinals on Sunday.

Jamaica has a chance to reach its second straight Gold Cup final and in doing so knock off the team that beat them in the 2015 final, Mexico. 

Experienced defender Jermaine Taylor (32) and the needs-to-move-to-Europe goalkeeper Andre Blake denied Davies and Larin, who were both substituted before the end of the night. Blake was credited with four saves, including this spectacular stop on Junior Hoilett. 


Hoilett did manage to get one past Blake with perhaps the goal of the tournament. That’s what it took to beat the player who has thus far been the keeper of the tournament.

Jamaica scored early in each half to give its defense enough wiggle room to advance. 

Six minutes into the match Darren Mattocks, probably the top attacker on the night, made his way down the right wing before sending in a cross. The ball met Shaun Francis, who roofed a side-footed shot for the opening goal.


Four minutes into the second half, Romario Williams — named after the former Brazilian star — got his name on the scoresheet with a curling effort. The shot took a couple deflections on the way in, but they all count the same. 

Jamaica didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the group stage, beating Curacao but drawing with both Mexico and El Salvador. But the Reggae Boyz appear to be hitting their stride at the right time and are once again in the semifinals, where two years ago they knocked off the United States on the way to the final.

With Blake playing this well, it’ll again be tough to knock out Jamaica.

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