GlobeBull: Lawrence, Jamaica Survives Honduras at Home in Gold Cup Opener

For the first time in CONCACAF Gold Cup history, a group stage match was played in Kingston, Jamaica. The Jamaica national team used the home crowd to their advantage to defeat Honduras 3-2 at the National Stadium.

The first goal came in the 15th minute as Jamaica sprung on the counter off a Andre Blake caught cross. After a multi-pass sequence worked up the field, LAFC’s Peter-Lee Vassell’s shot was saved, but was parried right into the head of a streaking Dever Orgill to tap it in for 1-0.

The second was started with a good inverted run by FC Cincinnati’s Alvas Powell to find Brian Brown at the top of the arc. With a quick one-touch, he sprung Orgill through to goal for his second of the match in the 41st minute, striking with his left foot about 12 yards out. They would lead 2-0 at half.

Honduras got on the board in the 54th minute with a bad giveaway by Shaun Francis that was scooped up by Houston Dynamo’s Albert Elis. Elis found a sprinting Anthony “Choco” Lozano for the tap in.

But Jamaica fired right back two minutes later when Damion Lowe headed in Vassell’s corner kick to restore their lead 3-1.

Honduras fought hard the rest of the way and Rubilio Castillo scored in the 92nd minute off a headed cross, but it was too little, too late.

New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence started and played all 90 minutes. He had some good battles with Elis throughout the match, including when Lawrence “tabletopped” him in the 52nd minute. This was Lawrence’s 50th cap for Jamaica since debuting with the senior side in 2013.

Former RBNY II players Devon “Speedy” Williams and Junior Flemmings also earned caps for Jamaica. Williams started and played all 90 minutes, while Flemmings entered the match for Jamaica in the 77th minute. These are their seventh and fourth caps, respectively.

Jamaica now heads to the States for the remainder of the Gold Cup. They face El Salvador in Houston on the 21st and finish with Curaçao in Los Angeles on the 25th. El Salvador defeated Jamaica in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying back in March 2-0. Lawrence’s side look to exact revenge for the team responsible for putting them in CONCACAF Nations League B.

For those keeping track at home, Jamaica has five MLS and eight USL Championship players on their 23-man roster.

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