Photo courtesy Canada Soccer
PHOENIX – USL leading scorer Romario Williams scored the game-winner as Jamaica advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-1 victory against Canada on Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Williams, who has recorded 14 goals for the Charleston Battery in the 2017 USL regular season, was one of two current USL players in Jamaica’s starting lineup alongside Tampa Bay Rowdies center back Damion Lowe. It was a former USL player that gave Jamaica the lead in the sixth minute, however, as Shaun Francis rifled home a finish after good work by Darren Mattocks on the right side of the penalty area that earned an early lead.
Jamaica went to the break with a one-goal lead, and five minutes into the second half Williams’ second goal of the tournament gave the Reggae Boyz a two-goal edge. Taking a good pass by Mattocks outside the top-left side of the penalty area, Williams curled a far-post finish that was just out of the reach of Milan Borjan.
Canada hit back with another outstanding long-range strike by Junior Hoilett on the hour-mark to make it 2-1. The Red continued to carry the play for much of the second half, but a pair of standout saves by Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake preserves Jamaica’s lead, allowing the side to advance to the semifinals on Sunday.