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Jamaica vs Mexico CONCACAF Gold Cup: Final score 1-0

Two years after Mexico beat Jamaica in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, El Tri and the Reggae Boyz will again square off in the tournament’s knockout round on Sunday, when they’ll collide in the semifinals at the Rose Bowl.

Jamaica is heading to the Gold Cup final for the second straight tournament, thanks to an amazing free kick by Kemar Lawrence. 

They avenged their loss from two years ago, beating their opponent in that final — Mexico — 1-0 on Sunday.

The Reggae Boyz will now face the United States in the final on Wednesday, in Santa Clara, California.

While Lawrence snagged the winner, the clear man of the match for Jamaica was goalkeeper Andre Blake, who had to make a half-dozen truly world class saves to keep the clean sheet for his team. But Jamaica wasn’t just under siege the whole match — despite losing the possession battle 70 percent to 30 percent, the Jamaicans matched Mexico for shots on target.

Lawrence’s winner came in the 88th minute, off a spectacular free kick. Michael Binns drew the foul on Hugo Ayala, and Lawrence delivered a sweet strike into the top corner.

Though this was Mexico’s B-team — El Tri’s stars sat out this tournament after going to Confederations Cup — they were still considered favorites in this match and were expected to make the final. Suspended coach Juan Carlos Osorio has been on the hot seat since failing to beat the USMNT in World Cup qualifying, and there will be a lot of discussion about his job security yet again.

Jamaica will go into the final knowing they’re good enough to win the Gold Cup. They beat the Americans in the semifinal in 2015, taking them apart on the counter attack en route to a 2-1 win.

They had a bit of a tougher time in their first meeting against Jamaica. The Reggae Boyz sat back and invited Mexico forward in that match, and El Tri wasn’t able to break them down. Jamaica is likely to employ the same approach on Sunday, and – with Blake playing so well and the attack looking confident after the win against Canada – they’ll no doubt like their chances of stealing a result at the Rose Bowl.
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