On Sunday night, El Tri suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Reggae Boyz, but more specifically they had their dreams of winning the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup ripped to pieces by Andre Blake’s superb goalkeeping and a spectacular free kick from Kemar Lawrence in the 88th minute. The team’s had faced off in the group stage, where Jamaica’s defense held Mexico to a 0-0 draw. Once again, Jamaica had a wonderful defensive showing and once again, Andre Blake had an amazing performance.
Blake’s Performance Sends Jamaica To Final
The Philadelphia Union goalkeeper had five saves, including one on a dangerous free kick from Jesús Gallardo, on Mexico’s twelve shots while maintaining a clean sheet. Although Mexico didn’t have a ton of shots, they dominated possession and had Jamaica defending for most of the match, but the Reggae Boyz have won most of their Gold Cup matches in their defensive third this Gold Cup. The long time on defense didn’t come without a price however as the squad was shown four yellow cards over the course of the game.
Kemar Lawrence will most likely get all the headlines for his goal (which was quite impressive), but had Blake not played as well as he did, that one goal wouldn’t have mattered. Even though Blake had only had five shots actually come to the net, he was also forced to defend against seven corner kicks. Mexico just couldn’t find a way to get the ball past Blake and into the back of the net. The defense did a good job of not giving up too many good opportunities, but even when they gave up the ball in a bad spot or conceded a free kick near the edge of the box, Blake was there to save the day.
El Tri Suffered Heartbreak
The game was only Jamaica’s fourth win against Mexico ever and their first since the 2008 World Cup, where Jamaica won 1-0. Jamaica was the underdog coming in, but they definitely weren’t counted out after proving themselves a couple years ago by making it to the final of the Gold Cup before losing to Mexico. Despite being up against a formidable opponent, El Tri’s fans, as well as those within the organization, are always disappointed with a loss and expect to beat most teams they face, especially their CONCACAF foes as they have don’t have a losing record against any of the other teams that compete in the confederation.
And we all know that Mexico fans aren’t the only ones disappointed. CONCACAF would’ve loved a Mexico vs USA match. That’s why Gold Cups are never set up with a chance of seeing the two face off before the final game of the tournament. They’ll still get a lot of the viewers they want because the United States are competing, but it won’t be the viewership they would’ve gotten had it been a couple of teams that really don’t like each other facing off for the most valuable piece of hardware in North America.
Even though Mexico, its fans (as well as some of the US’s fans), and CONCACAF are all likely disappointed with this result, it’ll still be interesting to see how the final goes between a couple of goalkeepers that can single handedly change the game like Andre Blake did for Jamaica again tonight and like Tim Howard seems to do every time he’s on the field.