First-half goals power Canada past Jamaica

Canada’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Jamaica in an international friendly on September 2, 2017, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

TORONTO – Canada scored a pair of first-half goals to earn a 2-0 win over visiting Jamaica in an international friendly in front of 21,724 fans at BMO Field on Saturday night.

It was the first meeting between the sides since the Jamaicans posted a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals of July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

An error allowed Canada to take a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.  Trying to play the ball out of the defensive end, Jamaica’s Jermaine Taylor saw his short pass be intercepted by Junior Hoilett, who entered the right side of the box without being closed down.  Given plenty of time to pick his spot, the Cardiff City midfielder delivered a ball into the six-yard box for Anthony Jackson-Hamel to tap-in simply with his left foot.

The advantage was doubled in the 30th minute thanks to some neat play by the host.  At the top of the box, Jackson-Hamel flicked a Samuel Piette feed to Jonathan Osorio, leaving the Jamaican defense motionless.  Osorio maintained his composure and easily beat stranded goalkeeper Andre Blake with a left-footed shot from 10-yards out.

Canada was reduced a player in the 76th minute, when substitute Alphonso Davies was shown a straight red card for what appeared to kick at the face of defender Damion Lowe.  The 16-year-old had entered the field only six earlier as a replacement for Raheem Edwards.

In 21 all-time matches between them, Canada holds a 9-6 advantage in wins over Jamaica.