Jamaica scored twice in the opening 30 minutes and cruised to a 2-0 win over Suriname in the opening match of Group C at Exploria Stadium on Monday evening.
The Reggae Boyz wasted no time to take the lead, with Shamar Nicholson scoring his eighth career goal in the sixth minute. Jamaica capitalized on a turnover in their defensive third and quickly went the other way. Leon Bailey went with a series of stepovers before slipping a pass to Daniel Johnson, who found Nicholson. The Charleroi forward beat Suriname goalkeeper Warner Hahn with a low shot from 22 yards out.
Suriname nearly had an immediate response when Gleofilo Vlijter was played behind the Jamaica defense, but his shot from 17 yards out skipped just wide of the left post after Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake got a touch.
Fulham's Bobby Decordova-Reid scored the goal of the tournament to date in the 26th minute, latching onto a failed headed clearance by Ryan Donk and unleashing a full volley from just outside the 18-yard box that landed inside the far post.
The Reggae Boyz appeared to take the foot off the gas, allowing Suriname to grow into the game, but their two early tallies were the difference and Jamaica deservedly took all three points.
- 6’ — JAM — Shamar Nicholson
- 26’ — JAM — Bobby Reid
- THE BIG PICTURE: Jamaica had plenty to dance about in the opening half hour, but the two earned goals weren’t a sign of things to come. Goal differential could loom large to decide the group winner, so the Reggae Boyz may be disappointed not to add to their total. Suriname rarely tested Blake, but grew into the match and looked more dangerous in the closing stages than at the beginning.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Goal of the tournament? Right now, there’s been none better than this Reid rocket.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Blake is a previous Golden Glove Award winner in the Gold Cup, and the Union backstop made three saves to earn his 21st career international clean sheet. His best stop came in the 29th minute, a lunging grab of a Sheraldo Becker attempt.
- JAM: Friday, July 16 vs. Guadeloupe | 6:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TUDN | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage
- SUR: Friday, July 16 vs. Costa Rica | 8:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TUDN | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage