Honduras might have been the seeded team in Group C, but Jamaica was the home team last night and claimed a 3-2 victory in the first modern era Gold Cup match played in the Caribbean.
Striker Dever Orgill’s first half brace was bolstered by Damien Lowe’s eventual winner midway though the second half, as Jamaica survived a stoppage time goal at the death to move to the top of the Group C standings.
Orgill opened the scoring in the 15th, finishing off a close range header on a sequence that begane with a cross from young star Leon Bailey of Bayer Leverkusen. Honduran keeper Luis Lopez got a piece of the initial shot from Peter-Lee Vassell but could do nothing about the ensuing effort on the doorstep of the goal.
DEVER ORGILL AGAIN!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 18, 2019
The Reggae Boyz go up by ✌️ in the first half. pic.twitter.com/CccrJkC7zL
In the 41st, it was Orgill again, finishing off a brilliant run started by fullback Alvas Powell, who centered to Brian Brown and after some nifty footwork at the top of the box, Orgill’s deflected shot went up and over a sprawling Lopez in goal for a 2-0 halftime lead to the Reggae Boys.
Honduras take one back!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 18, 2019
Alexander Lozano scores the first Honduras goal of #GoldCup2019 and brings them within one. pic.twitter.com/Lat8wWwWry
Honduras started the comeback in the second half, capitalizing on a poor back pass in the back by Jamaica in the 54th. Alberth Ellis muscled a defender off the ball, and centered to a streaking Anthony Lozano who slotted home under pressure. Jamaica however would waste no time restoring their two goal advantage, when just two minutes after Honduras’ goal centerback Damien Lowe powered home a header following a corner to make it 3-1.
Honduras scored a consolation goal through Rubilio Castillo in stoppage time but did not have enough time to find an equalizer. Honduras wasn’t able to capitalize on their passing and possession edge over Jamaica, being undone by just putting two shots on target out of twelve total. Keeper Lopez registered five saves in the loss compared to none for Andre Blake of Jamaica.
In the first match of the evening at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, it was Nelson Bonilla and El Salvador claiming all three points with a first half stoppage time goal in a 1-0 win over Curacao.
El Salvador take the lead!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 17, 2019
With the last kick of the first half Nelson Bonilla put El Salvador on pic.twitter.com/gf2hVucWQu
A last gasp frantic attack from Los Cuscatlecos in the first half saw Oscar Ceren try to play Bonilla in behind the Curacao defense. His pass was deflected by defender Cuco Martina, which only saw the ball settle nicely for Bonilla who smashed it home to the far post past Eloy Room.
Room would have to come up with some heroics in the second half to keep Curacao in the match, making a superb stop on Bonilla in the 83rd and a total of 4 saves on the night. However Curacao were unable to generate much offense in this one, ending the game on just 1-of-3 shots on target compared to El Salvador’s 5-of-9.
Despite the clear shooting advantage, both teams attempted a total of 431 passes on the night. Curacao had a higher overall percentage completed at 83% but El Salvador had the edge in the attacking areas and Curacao edged possession 51-49%.
Overall, this was what we expected El Salvador to do, play defense and be opportunistic in the attacking third and it’s a recipe for success they are well versed in. Curacao will now have a tough task in trying to get results off Jamaica and Honduras.
Group C continues on Friday, June 21st from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, with El Salvador-Jamaica at 700pm and Honduras-Curacao at 930pm.