Two-goal Hamilton propels Canada past Haiti
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Jordan Hamilton (#16) helped Canada to a 3-1 win over Haiti in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on January 10, 2015, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Jordan Hamilton scored twice within a seven-minute span early in the first half, sparking Canada to a 3-1 triumph over Haiti in the Group B opener for each at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on Saturday.

The Toronto FC forward tallied in the 11th and 18th minutes at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

After Jonel Desire connected for the Haitians in the 27th minute, Michael Petrasso gave the Canadians some breathing room by converting a penalty kick in the 70th minute. 

"Going into the game we were nervous," Petrasso said.  "Getting the two first goals helped us settle in.  We're glad we got them quick.  It calmed our nerves right off the bat." 

Hamilton started his personal highlight reel in the 11th minute, when he beat Haitian captain Jean Becker Jean-Baptiste on the right sideline, before slipping the ball past goalkeeper Ramos Pointe.  Seven minutes later, he found room in the middle of the defense six yards out as he headed in Samuel Adekugbe's left-wing cross.

"I love playing in Jamaica," Hamilton declared.  "My family's Jamaican.  I had a bunch of support from the crowd."

Desire cut the lead to 2-1 in the 27th minute as he took advantage of a free kick from the left side that goalkeeper Marco Carducci could not handle. The 17-year-old headed it home from eight-yards out.

Both sides missed decent chances in the opening half. 

Desire saw his close-range shot knocked away by Carducci after Venel Saint-Fort stripped a Canadian player of the ball in the 34th minute. 

Canada's Marco Bustos hit the crossbar in the 38th minute.  Six minutes later Petrasso missed a shot from point-blank range, sending his attempt wide right of the net.

Petrasso made up for his earlier miss to score an insurance goal after Bustos was tripped by Zachary Herivaux in the box a minute prior.  He left no doubt this time as he sent his shot to the left side, while Pointe dived to the opposite side.

On Monday, Canada plays Mexico, a 9-1 winner over Cuba earlier on Saturday.  Haiti meets El Salvador, which rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 tie with Honduras.