Haiti and Jamaica each tallied key wins in their Concacaf Nations League qualifiers on Saturday, thanks in large part to goalscoring contributions from MLS attackers.
A header from New York Red Bulls winger Derrick Etienne Jr. put 10-man Haiti up 2-0 against Nicaragua in the 31st minute of their meeting in Managua. Despite being down a man the majority of the match, Haiti held on for the 2-0 victory, keeping a perfect qualifying record while handing Nicaragua their first loss.
Etienne took to Twitter after the game, doling out partial credit to Red Bulls teammate Bradley Wright-Phillips for his heading prowess.
Meanwhile in Montego Bay, Jamaica jumped on Suriname early, scoring twice in the first 16 minutes through Philadelphia Union's Cory Burke (RBNY's Kemar Lawrence provided the assist) and D.C. United's Darren Mattocks. Captained by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, the Reggae Boyz ground out a 2-1 win to stay perfect in qualifying.
Both countries will resume qualifying play in March 2019, with Jamaica traveling to El Salvador and Haiti hosting Cuba, who also maintained their unblemished qualifying record by beating the Dominican Republic 1-0 on Saturday in Havana. The top six qualifying teams advance to League A and clinch a 2019 Gold Cup berth.