Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
LEONORA, Guyana – Bethlehem Steel FC forward Cory Burke scored his first goal for Jamaica as the Reggae Boyz rallied to take a 4-2 win against Guyana to open the final stage of 2017 Caribbean Cup Qualifying at Leonora Stadium on Tuesday night.
Guyana took an early lead off a corner as Adrian Butters headed a finish past Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake in the seventh minute, and the Golden Panthers doubled their lead on the half-hour mark as Butter again struck off a free kick after the Rochester Rhinos’ Brandon Beresford had been brought down.
Jamaica came back in the second half, as Jevaughn Watson pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute off a long throw-in. The Reggae Boyz then had a chance to pull level from the penalty spot as Beresford was called for a foul on Burke, but Damion Lowe’s shot was saved by 18-year-old Guyana goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle.
Guyana was reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute when Walter Moore was sent off, and that allowed Jamaica to apply more pressure. The visitors found a late equalizer as Dicoy Williams scored with two minutes to go to send the game to extra time. As the hosts wore down defensively, Jamaica grabbed victory in the final five minutes of the extra periods, as former USL player Shaun Francis and Burke both scored to earn victory.
Jamaica now leads Group 1 on goal difference from Suriname, which also defeated Guyana in extra time to open the tournament. A draw when the two teams meet would be enough to send Jamaica back to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup as the group’s automatic qualifier.
Martinique did book its place at next year’s Gold Cup as Seattle Sounders FC 2 defender Jordy Delem made the start in a 2-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago. Kevin Parsemain and Steevan Langil both found the net as Martinique qualified for the Gold Cup for the fifth time, most recently in 2013.