It was a historic victory for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz as they defeated the United States 2-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015 semi-final at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
It was only the second win ever for Jamaica over the US in soccer, having beaten the red, white and blues by a similar scoreline in Kingston, Jamaica back in 2013. It was therefore the first time Jamaica were beating the US on their home soil. Jamaica, ranked at 76, is now the lowest ranked team ever to defeat the mighty USA.
Other firsts: it was the first time a Caribbean team was making it to the final and the first time Jamaica was scoring in 5 matches in a row in the biennial Gold Cup tournament. Jamaica are now unbeaten in 9 of their last 10 Gold Cup matches.
The Reggae Boyz defied the odds. ESPN, in their pre-match post showed a Soccer Power Index revealing that the US had an 89% chance of winning, compared to Jamaica’s 11%.
Darren Mattock of the Vancouver Whitecaps, who was coming off a one game suspension for a red card against El Salvador, opened the scoring in the 30th minute. From a long throw, Mattocks’ header looped into the right corner of the goal.
Houston Dynamo’s Giles Barnes added another goal from a well taken free kick in the 36th minute. The left foot kick ended up in the same right corner of the US goal as Mattocks’ header.
The US replied from an error by goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, who “spilled the bean” in the 48th minute. Michael Bradley pounced on the spill and made it 2-1.
Jamaica now awaits the winner of the Panama vs Mexico semi-final still in progress.