Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes scored in the seventh minute, and Jamaica beat Haiti 1-0 Saturday night to reach its first CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal since 1998.
Jamaica’s early goal would stand, taking the 0-1 win that will see them move on to the next stage, where they will meet the Americans in the semifinals.
It was the Americans’ first home loss to a Caribbean foe since 1968, forcing the winners of the 2013 Gold Cup into a playoff against this year’s tournament champion to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
However, with zero points after the first two games, Cuba still found their spot in the quarterfinals after a 1-0 win over Guatemala. John Anthony Brooks, meanwhile, returned to central defense alongside Ventura Alvarado.
Jamaica goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, in red, deflects a shot attempt… And in the 60th, Placide dove left to push away Kemar Lawrence’s goalbound free kick.
The second match will witness Mexico look to get on course for the final with a match against Costa Rica, the darlings of CONCACAF after their performance at the recent World Cup, at 7:30 pm. Up stepped Barnes, and into the back of the net the ball went on a powerful right-footed shot that curled over the wall and inside the near post past the helpless Guzan.
The Timbers won’t be complaining about having the striker back with the squad, as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in an important Western Conference showdown on Saturday night.
The player, who turned 21 yesterday, said his decision to leave the camp had nothing to do with a purported lack of playing time.
About a yard from the goal line and at the edge of the six-yard box, Giles Barnes did not have much to shoot for.
The US almost tied the match three minutes later via another shaky moment from Thompson.
Haiti were lucky not to be punished in the 56th minute after Placide’s goal-kick went straight to Jobi McAnuff, who was denied by the keeper from close range, while Barnes sent his rebound over the crossbar. “But at the same time we have to evaluate how we did and most likely we did relatively well overall, so we had some respect”.