Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz defeated Mexico 1-0 to win a place in the Gold Cup final. Jamaica lost to Mexico at the 2015 Gold Cup competition. The win came from a free kick by Kemar Lawrence in the 87th minute in the semi-final match played July 23, 2017. Andre Blake, Jamaica’s goalkeeper, kept out a strike by Jesus Duenas of Mexico in the 12th minute, and then made a save on Erick Torres’ rebound attempt. In the 24th minute, Blake denied a header from Torres from close range. Mexico’s Jesus Corona made a diving save to stop a free kick by Jamaica’s Jermaine Taylor in the 38th minute. Mexico almost had their opener in the 65th minute, but Blake kept a free kick from Jesus Gallardo out and kept the score at 0-0. Jamaica’s next chance to score came from Damion Lowe, but Corona stopped his goal-aimed header from Owayne Gordon’s cross. With penalties on tap, Lawrence made a curling free kick that caught Corona unprepared and promoted Jamaica into its second consecutive Gold Cup final. Jamaica will face the United States in the final match on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the confederation’s premier event for national teams, crowning a champion every two years.
Initially involving eight teams, the Gold Cup has developed into a competition of 12 nations, which qualify from each of CONCACAF’s three sub-regions: North America (3 automatic entrants), Central America (4.5 qualifiers through the Copa Centroamericana) and the Caribbean (4.5 qualifiers through the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup).
It has reached exceptional levels of popularity as evidenced by capacity crowds and a global TV audiences of millions.
The Gold Cup has been contested on 13 previous occasions. Mexico owns a tournament-record seven titles, followed by the United States with five and Canada with one.
The U.S. captured the inaugural championship in 1991, outlasting Honduras in the final 4-3 on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw. That year, the entire tournament took place in two Southern California venues – the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Bowl.
As evidence of its stunning growth, in 2015, the Gold Cup was played in 14 state-of-the-art stadiums across the entire United States. Jamaica became the first Caribbean representative to reach the final, ultimately falling to Mexico, 3-1. Total tournament attendance exceeded 1 million, while the final drew an impressive 2.3 rating and 5.7 million viewers on Univision and Univision Deportes Network in the USA.
Later in 2015, the Mexicans defeated 2013 champion USA in the CONCACAF Cup, 3-2 after extra time, to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. It was the first time that Gold Cup champions within the same four-cycle met to determine which would participate in the traditional World Cup rehearsal. The match was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and attracted a capacity crowd of 93,273 fans.