Canada 2, Jamaica 0 | 2017 International Friendly Match Recap
TORONTO -- On a festive night at BMO Field, Canada would get their revenge on the side that knocked them out of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defeating Jamaica 2-0.
Octavio Zambrano's side took the lead in the 16th minute through Montreal's Anthony Jackson-Hamel, touching an inviting ball from Junior Hoilett into the Jamaican net. Hoilett, having found himself in space on the right, put it on a plate for the Impact striker; he and Michael Petrasso caused Jamaica all kinds of trouble down that side.
Les Rouges would add a second on the half-hour mark through Toronto's Jonathan Osorio. A pair of Impact players linked up, with Samuel Piette passing forward to Jackson-Hamel, to play their club rival in alone on Andre Blake's goal with a neat flick. Osorio coolly slotted a left-footer past the Philadelphia keeper in net for the Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica would find their best chance of the half as the clock ticked down, but Jayson Leutwiler, in the Canadian goal, was equal to the task, staying big to make the save on Romario Williams' touch after the New York Red Bulls left back, Kemar Lawrence, whipped a dangerous cross towards the back post from the left.
Both sides would go to their benches as the second half began and Jamaica were forced into hopeful attempts from distance in search of a route back.
Orlando City's Cyle Larin nearly turned the ball in with his first touch after some good interplay on the touchline between Hoilett and Sam Adekugbe, but an inopportune bounce saw his redirection sail high.
And Raheem Edwards, playing on his side's home ground, looked to get in on the action turning his marker to surge upfield, but went over with a hopeful effort.
The match took a turn come the 76th minute when Alphonso Davies, having just come on six minutes earlier, was shown a straight red card for appearing to lash out after a challenge with Damion Lowe.
A man up, Jamaica would go in search of a way back into the match, but to no avail.
- CARDIFF CLASS: Canada's Junior Hoilett was all over the pitch throughout the 90 minutes, the font of much of the good that came Les Rouges' way, beguiling the Reggae Boyz at every turn. Playing in his first-ever professional match in his hometown, Hoilett collected an assist in what Octavio Zambrano called the "best performance" he has seen from the tricky wide attacker.
- DEFENSE STANDS TALL: Jayson Leutwiler, making just his third appearance for the Canadian national team, made several key saves throughout the match, coming up big when his side needed him most. A massive stop of Williams kept Jamaica off the board before the halftime whistle, while an enormous denial at the back post on Jermaine Taylor maintained the clean sheet. That said, Dejan Jakovic was nearly as crucial with timely interventions, especially in the 81st minute when his sliding block robbed Vishinuel Harris a likely goal.
- A SIX-MINUTE CAMEO: Davies, who collected his Golden Boot and Best Young Player of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in a prematch ceremony, was sent off prematurely in the 76th minute with a straight red card after clashing with Jamaican defender Lowe. Replays were inconclusive, and neither manager would comment, but Davies covered his face as he walked briskly off the pitch and apologized via Twitter post-match.