Premier League stars ensure Jamaica top Nations League group and head to quarter finals with Honduras

October 18 – Jamaica and Honduras secured their places in the quarter final rounds of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League with wins over Haiti and Cuba respectively. Jamaica topped group B with 10 points, having drawn with Haiti in their first encounter.

Haiti, playing their home game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, took an early lead through through Frantzdy Pierrot, but it was short lived.

Three minutes later Demarai Gray took advantage of a poor clearance from the Haitian defense to equalise.

Level at half time, the Jamaicans began to take control in the second half and took the lead on 57 minutes when a cross from West Ham’s Michail Antonio found Shamar Nicholson who slotted home.

Jamaica’s other Premier League star Leon Bailey made it 3-1 on 66 minutes, scoring directly from a free kick he won just outside the box.

Pierrot scored his second of the game for Haiti on 87 minutes but it was too little too late to prevent Haiti from relegation to League B.

Honduras make sure

Honduras have been desperate to return to Concacaf’s top tier and after a disappointing Gold Cup in the summer were leaving it late to qualify for the last eight in the Nations League, with both them and opponents Cuba facing each other in a winner-takes-all match-up.

In the end the Hondurans were leaving nothing to chance at the Estadio Nacional Chelato Ucles in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Denil Maldonado put the Hondurans in front on nine minute with a header. They went 2-0 up four minutes later when Cuba gave the ball away at the back allowing the Hondurans to fast break and Antony Lozano to finished past Cuban keeper Raiko Arozarena.

Romell Quioto scored from the penalty spot on 67 minutes after Alberth Elis was fouled in the box. Honduras added a fourth on 90 minutes through bryan Richez to make the score 4-0.

Quarter final match-ups taking shape

Jamaica and Honduras join pre-qualified USA, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica in the quarter finals that will be played home and away in November.

The draw will see the top-ranked League A team (based on the Concacaf Rankings as of October 2023), will play against the lowest-ranked group runner-up, while the second-ranked League A team, will play the highest-ranked group runner-up.

The final two places in the quarter finals will be decided tonight with Trinidad and Tobago, Panama (finalists in the 2023 Gold Cup), Martinique and Guatemala all in with a chance of qualifying.

Quarter final winners will qualify for the Concacaf Nations League Finals scheduled for March 2024 and the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 to be held in the US in the summer.

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