Reggae Boys beat Canada 3-2 in an historic performance to qualify for Copa America 2024
Jamaica defeated Canada 3-2 and punched a ticket to the 2024 Copa America Tournament thanks to gutsy performance at the BMO Field in Toronto in 5 degrees Temperature on Tuesday night.
A late penalty capped a three-goal comeback in a wild second half that turned into a 4-4 aggregate tie and victory for the Reggae Boyz on the away goals rule in the CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal series.
The result earns Jamaica a berth in the 2024 Copa America as one of CONCACAF’s six guest teams. Canada now must win a play-in next March to join the field at the South American championship.
The 45th-ranked Canadian men went into the second leg of the series holding a 2-1 lead over the 55th-ranked Jamaicans from Saturday’s rain-delayed win in Kingston.
Alphonso Davies had extended Canada’s aggregate lead to 3-1 with the opening goal in the 25th minute. However a different Reggae boys unit came out in the second half, with sharp and crisp passing added to excellent off and on the ball running. The effort paid off, as Shamar Nicholson goals in the 63rd and 66th minute placed a dagger in the hearts of the Canadians watching. Then Ismael Kone scored in the 69th minute to put Canada level to make it two all on the night.
Mexican referee Cesar Ramos then pointed to the penalty spot in the 75th minute after the ball hit the Canadian defender Stephen Eustaquio’s arm. It seemed a harsh call with the Canadian midfielder trying to get his arm down to his side to avoid contact.
The ruling survived video review and Bobby Reid slotted the penalty home in the 78th minute. Seven minutes later, Jamaica’s Demarai Gray was sent off for a second yellow card, adding to the drama.
The Jamaicans held on for nine minutes of stoppage time with 10 men.
The Jamaican defense had trouble all evening containing Canada’s strike force of Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin and Tajon Buchanan. But the Reggae Boyz’ attack found its teeth in the second half for an historic win.