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Kemar Lawrence stunner leads Jamaica to upset of Mexico in Gold Cup semifinal

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

Kemar Lawrence provided a moment of magic to lead Jamaica to a stunning victory on Saturday’s Gold Cup semifinal.

The New York Red Bulls fullback fired home a last-minute free kick, leading the Reggae Boyz to a 1-0 upset of Mexico in Sunday’s semifinal match. With the win, Jamaica books a date with the U.S. Men’s National Team in Wednesday’s Gold Cup finale while Mexico fails to advance to the final for only the second time in six tournaments.

Lawrence’s winner came in the 88th minute, shocking El Tri while giving the favorites little time to respond. On a free kick from head on, the Jamaican fullback bent a shot up and over the wall that dipped past Jesus Corona, sending the Reggae Boyz to their second consecutive Gold Cup final.

It wasn’t just Lawrence who emerged as a hero, though, as goalkeeper Andre Blake stepped up time and time again for Jamaica. The Philadelphia Union star made a pair of saves 12 minutes in before denying fellow MLS star Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres on a 24th minute effort. When all was said and done, Blake made a total of five saves throughout a Man of the Match-level performance, leading Jamaica on to the tournament finale.

Jamaica now moves on to face the USMNT just two years after upsetting the U.S. to reach the 2015 Gold Cup final. The two sides will meet up on Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium.


  1. Yet this is the same team that lost to Curacao just a month a go and needed penalties to defeat French Guyana at the Caribbean Cup (didn’t have the full roster of course). They are just 9-13-4 (W-L-D) since beating the US at the last GC (a third of those victories in this tournament). If the US plays with the confidence they had on Saturday they will be fine, maybe get a shot on goal before the 62nd minute though.

  2. I think the wild card for the US is “Can Blake keep up his heroic shot-stopping.” Blake has demonstrated tremendous shot stopping ability and it is arguable that he would have stopped both the US goals against Costa Rica.

    Jamaica is fast and can counter, something the US back line has looked susceptible to, so this up-coming game is anything but a breeze.

  3. Although I’m always happy to see El Tri lose a soccer game, there’s a part of me that wishes the USMNT would have been given the chance to beat them in the final…

  4. Not terribly surprised, but seeing reactions Jamaica seems unaware that this wasn’t the Mexican A-team they beat…lol.

    This is a bad matchup for the U.S. Would rather have had Mexico, TBH.

    • I understand that it wasn’t a “shocked the world!” type moment but even with it being a Mexico B squad–it was significant enough of a result to be an “upset”.

      This might end up being one of the final nails in Osorio’s coffin.

      Also, given the nature of the two squads and the respective clubs and leagues and that the players involved are attached to–Mexico (on paper but we know that they say about that) should still have won this game. That’s before you key in other things like it being a virtual home game for El Tri.

      I do agree with you about the fact that the US squad and its fans had better not sleep on this Jamaican squad. Otherwise, hey might get their feelings hurt. Again.

    • seriously?

      a) pretty sure jamaica took some time to study their opponents, so i’m betting they knew whether or not these were mexico’s first-teamers.

      b) this is jamaica’s 2nd *ever* time in the gold cup final (or any final, i guess). it’d be weird if they didn’t seem really excited to be there.

      • *sarcasm*

        The David slaying Goliath comments from Whitmaore are a bit much though when you consider that they just drew them a week ago, and the Jamaican roster had more recognizable names than the Mexican one.

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