El Salvador did their best to slip past Jamaica in pursuit of second place in Gold Cup Group C, taking an early lead over the Reggae Boyz and holding it for more than half of their match on Sunday evening.
But the Portland Timbers' Darren Mattocks netted from the spot after a contentious penalty-kick decision to salvage a draw that kept the islanders ahead of Los Cuscatlecos in the standings, as the two nations shared the points in an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Both sides will advance to the tournament's knockout stages. But Sunday's result ensures a more favorable quarterfinal matchup for Jamaica.
- Gold Cup quarterfinal matchups set for Philadelphia, Arizona
- Jamaica relieved, peeved after El Salvador draw: "We need a reality check"
- MLS BOYZ BUSY: Mattocks continued his solid Gold Cup with that clutch PK conversion, and Philadelphia's Andre Blake made a key save on Rodolfo Zelaya a few minutes earlier to keep El Salvador from adding to their lead (see below). Meanwhile Romario Williams, an Atlanta United player currently on loan at USL side Charleston Battery, got the start up top and played well for Jamaica.
- DERBY DENIAL: Either side could easily have won this game, an open and surprisingly fun encounter. But Williams has particular reason to feel robbed thanks to Cuscatlecos goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, whose reaction stop on his near-post bid was superb, even drawing praise from a certain countryman who plays for the Chicago Fire:
What a save @DerbyC87!— Arturo Alvarez (@artieart10) July 16, 2017
- YANKS, CANUCKS WATCHING: With Mexico beating Curacao as expected, Jamaica finish second in the group and meet Canada in a quarterfinal matchup at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, while third-place El Salvador will face the United States at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field one day prior.
- JAM: Thursday, July 20 vs. Canada (7:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN in US, TSN GO in Canada)
- SLV: Wednesday, July 20 vs. USA (9 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN in US, TSN GO in Canada)