COSTA RICA 2, JAMAICA 2 (at Carson, Calif.) – Costa Rica forward David Ramirez recorded a goal and an assist sandwiched between two Jamaican goals in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B contest.
Jamaica had showed a few impressive attacking intent in its opening match against Costa Rica and the positivity of Schafer’s men was again on display early in Houston, with Simon Dawkins surging past a defender and forcing Stamatopoulos into a low save in the ninth minute.
Canada will next meet Jamaica in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, while El Salvador faces Costa Rica.
With Jamaica and Canada playing ahead of their match, expect both Costa Rica and El Salvador to be aggressive in trying to get a win to stay in the competition. He rounded goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, only to blaze over the crossbar from eight-yards out with an open goal at his mercy.
What Benito Floro will need to adjust for is a much bigger, stronger and faster opponent than El Salvador.
Canada, looking for its first Gold Cup win in five games, continued to compete. They will look to come out today and frustrate the Costa Rica players, and not let them get into their stride or find any rhythm to their play.
Jamaica pulled even three minutes into the second half, with Joel McAnuff completing a full-pace, off-balance run into the Ticos box by left-footing the ball past goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado and inside the right post. The one blessing is that there should be significantly less theatrics and both teams can show more of what their brand of football is about.
But scraping through as a third-place finisher, only to be met with the United States of America or Mexico in the quarterfinals, would hardly have those up north singing from the rooftops.
McCleary, who is known for his taunting runs inside approaching from the flanks, said a draw puts his team in a good position, but victory would have made a more pronounced statement. A diehard contingent of Canadian supporters will still be in full voice at BMO Field on Tuesday evening, though their confidence in their side’s capacity to earn a result will surely have been dented by the events of Saturday. The next four teams from the Gold Cup will enter a playoff for the last two spots in the 2016 Copa América Centenario.