Reggae Boyz jammin in Canada; Mexico comeback but need penalty shootout to beat Honduras

November 22 – Three second half goals in Toronto saw Jamaica knock 2023 Nations League finalists Canada out of the 2024 Nations League semi-finals and automatic qualification for the 2024 Copa America to be played in the US. At the Azteca it took a late goal and penalties for Mexico to overcome Honduras to secure their place.

Canada and Honduras must now go into the play-offs for one of the two remaining spots in the 2024 Copa America. They will be up against the other losing quarter finalists Costa rica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Canada went into the second leg of their quarter final against the Jamaica 2-1 up and with home advantage at BMO Field Toronto.

With an hour gone Canada were a goal up and looked to be heading to Arlington for the final four next March. 30 minutes later it was all over for the Canadians as they were beaten 3-2 making the aggregate 4-4, but with Jamaica going through on the away goals rule.

It was Jamaica’s first ever win on Canadian soil.

Canada could have been three-up in the first half hour but for two outstanding saves by Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake. Canada eventually had their lead through Alphonso Davies on 25 minutes, eventually going into the break 1-0 up

Jamaica, who had been wasteful with chances in the first leg, started the second half with a Leon Bailey shot that rattled the bar.

The equalizer came in the 63rd minute after Canada gave possession away allowing Shamar Nicholson to strike to make it 1-1. Three minutes later Nicholson had a second and the tie was level. But only for three minutes before Ismael Kone headed in a Davies cross to level the match at 2-2 and put the Canadians 4-3 up.

With 15 minutes to go Canada’s Stephen Eustaquio handled in the area. Fulham’s Bobby Reid stepped up to score, level the aggregate score at 4-4 and send Jamaica through. Not even Demarai Gray’s sending off on 84 minutes could dampen the Jamaican party.

Mexico leave it late

In the cauldron of Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium, Mexico were chasing a 2-0 deficit from their first leg defeat to Honduras.

Mexico started well, pushing Honduras back, but it wasn’t until the 44th minute that Mexico broke through with a curling Luis Chavez free kick.

With Mexico piling on the pressure in the second half, it looked like Honduras had held out until Edson Alvarez scored in the 11thminute of added time, levelling the aggregate score at 2-2 and forcing extra time.

With no further score in extra time the game went to a penalty shoot out. Mexican goalkeeper Denil Malagon saved the opening Honduran penalty, opening the door for Mexico who converted all four of their attempts to qualify for the Nations League final four next March and the 2024 Copa America in the summer.

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