The Jamaica Reggae Boyz are now top of their group on 4 points after a victory against Canada in the 2015 Gold Cup. In the other game, Costa Rica and El Salvador battled to a 1-1 draw. Both teams (Costa Rica and El Salvador) are on 2 points each, while Canada remains on 1 point..
This means that the Reggae Boyz have advanced to the quarter-final knockout round. The final positions will be determined by the results of the last set of matches on July 14. Jamaica will then play El Salvador, and Canada play Costa Rica.
Both the Reggae Boyz and the Canucks looked set to record their second successive draws in the tournament until Leeds midfielder Austin got on the end of Garath McCleary’s right-wing cross to power home a downward header in stoppage time.
The Reggae Boyz created most of the scoring chances, coming close to scoring on several occasions. They found themselves denied either by the resolute Stamatopolous or the woodwork, in a game that proved to be a scrappy affair at times in stifling heat that necessitated a water break in the 38th minute.
In the 28th minute, a rebound fell to defender Kemar Lawrence, who drove into the box on the left-side, only to see his shot partially blocked by Stamatopolous. Defender David Edgar then did well to clear the ball off the line.
The Caribbean champion came closer in the 60th minute, when Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes, playing at his home stadium, slammed his free kick against the crossbar from just outside the box.
Barnes also forced Stamatopolous to palm away his volley in the 72nd minute and then turned provider, feeding second-half substitute Darren Mattocks, who poked his attempt wide with three minutes remaining in normal time.
The 1-0 win in Houston leaves the Reggae Boyz two points clear at the top of Group B after El Salvador and Costa Rica shared a 1-1 draw in the day’s other match.
On the final day of Group B play in Toronto on Tuesday, the Jamaicans meet El Salvador in the first game of a doubleheader at BMO Field, while Canada faces Costa Rica afterwards.