Eustaquio strikes late to deliver Canada win at Jamaica
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Eustaquio strikes late to deliver Canada win at Jamaica

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MIAMI, Florida Stephen Eustaquio struck late in the second half to deliver a 2-1 victory for Canada over Jamaica in the first leg of their League A quarterfinal on Saturday morning at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Thanks to their first win on Jamaican soil since 1988, the Canadians will carry a one-goal advantage and two crucial away goals into the second leg on Tuesday night in Toronto. 

Each side had a good look at goal inside the first 15 minutes, with Canada’s Jonathan David forcing Jamaica GK Andre Blake into a save, while Leon Bailey missed by an inch for the hosts.

Canada continued to keep Blake busy, but Bailey nearly broke the deadlock in the 40’ when he met a corner kick in stride with a right-footed shot, only to hit the post.

The Canadian pressure continued and in the first minute of first half stoppage time David was able to break through after some good work from Cyle Larin, who spun past a defender and crossed for David, who had the easiest of tap-ins for a 1-0 lead.

Jamaica would regroup, though, in the second half and evened the score in the 56’ when a free kick was taken quickly and played into Shamar Nicholson, who fired into net to make it 1-1.

Things stood on a knife’s edge going into the final half-hour and it would be Canada who would get the winner, with Stephen Eustaquio doing the job in the 85’.

Richie Laryea’s dashing run down the right wing ended with an inch-perfect cutback pass to Eustaquio, who swept home a shot into net to deliver the 2-1 victory to Canada.