Reggae Boyz in quarter-finals after El Salvador stalemate

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas, (CMC) – A Darren Mattocks second half penalty snatched a share of the points for Jamaica as they drew 1-1 with El Salvador to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup here Sunday.
Playing in their final preliminary Group C contest, the Reggae Boyz trailed through Nelson Bonilla’s 15th minute strike before Mattocks netted from the spot just after the hour mark, to spare his side blushes at the Alamodome.
With the result, Jamaica finished second in the group on five points, behind reigning champions Mexico who won the group by beating Caribbean outfit Curacao 2-0 in the second game of the evening.
Jamaica, losing finalists two years ago, will now face Canada in Glendale on Thursday in their quarter-final while Mexico clash with Honduras.
Though the Jamaicans played unbeaten in their three preliminary games, Mattocks said the Caribbean powerhouses had not been up to par against El Salvador and would not survive much longer in the tournament if they did not improve.
“Based on how we played, it doesn’t matter who we play if we are going to play like this. We won’t get past the quarter-finals,” the MLS-based star said.
“It wasn’t good enough. Aside from [goalkeeper] Andre [Blake], who made some fantastic saves in the game to keep it 1-0, we need a reality check – we were not good enough.”
Jamaican fell behind early in the contest when Bonilla beat Blake from close range after being put through by Ruben Mayorquin from the left.
Striker Romario Williams then had two chances to equalize – in the 25th and 39th minutes – but was denied on both occasions by goalkeeper Oscar Arroyo.
They remained behind at the half-time break but it was Mattocks who drew them level in the 64th minute, easily beating Arroyo with spot kick after Narciso Orellana handled the ball in the area.
In the other game, a goal in either half from Angel Sepulveda and Edson Alvarez was enough to see off Curacao who finished without a point and bottom of the group with three defeats.
As expected, Jamaica were the only Caribbean side to reach the next round with Martinique and French Guiana failing to get out of the preliminaries.

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