Jamaica edges Haiti for semifinal berth

The Reggae Boyz face the US in the semis on Wednesday, July 22 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

BALTIMORE, Maryland — Jamaica earned a place in its third CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal with a 1-0 win over Haiti on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Giles Barnes tallied the lone goal to boost the Jamaicans in the competition’s first-ever quarterfinal contested between two Caribbean sides.

The Reggae Boyz will play the defending champion United States on Wednesday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. Earlier in the evening, the Americans recorded a 6-0 win over Cuba to reach the final four for the eighth consecutive time.

Goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, playing in place of the injured regular Dwayne Miller, posted the shutout.

The Jamaicans scored the only goal in the seventh minute. Adrian Mariappa sent a short feed from the right flank to Barnes, who poked it home from three-yards out past goalkeeper Johny Placide.

The goal energized Haiti, which pushed forward and used its speed to create several scoring opportunities.

Haiti’s close encounters included James Marcelin’s close-range shot off Wilde-Donald Guerrier’s corner kick that was saved by Thompson in the 15th minute. Duckens Nazon hit the left post from 19 yards in the 25th minute, while Jean-Marc Alexandre forced Thompson to parry his attempt over the crossbar in the 37th minute.

Hungry for the equalizer, the Haitians picked up where they left off in the second half as Marcelin powered a rising shot from outside the area just over the crossbar in the 49th minute.
As the clock elapsed, Jamaica brought more players behind the ball to defend, seemingly blocking every Haitian shot.

The Caribbean champion had a few chances to give itself some breathing room, but Placide made several vital stops. His most memorable was a two-handed save on Kemar Lawrence’s 18-yard free kick in the 69th minute.
Placide also came up big in the 83th minute, denying Barnes from a tough angle on the right side.

Haiti’s Kervens Belfort had one last-ditch try as he snapped a header inside the box wide left in the first minute of stoppage time.

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