Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jamaica, El Salvador battle to one-all draw; both advance to knockout stage of Gold Cup

Nelson Bonilla (#9) reacts to scoring the first goal for
El Salvador in thier win over Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (July 16, 2017)  Jamaica and El Salvador battled to a one-all draw in the final game for both teams in Group C action of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, July 16, 2017. The Reggae Boyz finish the group stage of the tournament in second place with a 1-0-2 record (5 points). Los Cuscatlecos finished with four points and a 1-1-1 record. Both teams will advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, with El Salvador having the best record of third place teams.

El Salvador found pay dirt in the 15th minute with a solid shot from forward Nelson Bonilla. It was his second goal of the tournament, having scored in the 10th minute in La Selecta's 3-1 loss to Mexico on July 9. As a result of his score and play, he was selected the Man of the Match.

Jamaica had a chance to even the score in the 45th minute when midfielder Ewan Grandison came rushing down the right side and drilled a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which was deflected by goalkeeper Derby Carillo. After one minute of added time, both teams headed to the locker room at half time with El Salvador leading 1-0. The Reggae Boyz finally did even the score in the 64th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick. Forward Darren Mattocks nailed the shot to tie the score. With the score, Mattocks, who plays professionally for the Portland Timbers, became Jamaica's all-time top score in the Gold Cup. He made his debut in Jamaica's 2-0 win over El Salvador on August 15, 2012.

Two yellow cards were issued in the match; the first to Jamaica's Romario Williams in the 47th minute and the second to El Salvador's Narciso Orellana in the 63rd minute. The Reggae Boys pushed their overall Gold Cup record to 14 wins, 17 loses, and seven draws. La Selecta overall record is eight wins, 16 loses, and seven draws. 

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