KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz celebrated the country’s first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup fixture with a win as they held their nerve to beat Honduras 3-2 at the National Stadium here Monday night.
Playing in the second match of the historic double-header in the nation’s capital here, Turkey-based forward Dever Orgill struck a first-half brace and Damion Lowe added a third goal in the second half, to hand the hosts full points in their Group C opener.
Antony Lozano pulled one back for the visitors early in the first half before Rubilio Castillo struck in injury time but Jamaica safely saw out the encounter.
In the earlier game, Nelson Bonilla’s first-half injury-time goal was enough to give El Salvador a 1-0 victory over a plucky Curacao.
Up against the Central American side ranked seven places lower in 61st in the FIFA rankings, Jamaica took the early lead when 29-year-old Orgill headed in from point blank range with goalkeeper Luis Lopez nowhere in sight.
Leon Bailey chipped a pass to Peter Vassell whose pass was parried into Orgill’s path by the advancing Lopez.
Orgill added the second four minutes before half-time again from close range, to give Jamaica a 2-0 lead at the break. Defender Alvas Powell was terrific in beating three defenders on the right before crossing for Vassell who played in Orgill first touch, for the striker to drill a low left-footed shot past Lopez.
Honduras responded in the 54th minute, capitalising on a defensive howler from Shaun Francis to pull one back through Lozano’s sliding effort in the box.
The hosts, however, urged on by a large crowd, restored their two-goal lead just minutes later, Lowe out-jumping his markers at the far post to nod in Vassell’s corner kick.
Honduras made things nervy at the end through Castillo’s glancing header in the second of four minutes of added time, but Jamaica held on for the points.
The Reggae Boyz, losing finalists in the last two Gold Cups, will travel to Houston where they take on El Salvador in their second match on Friday at the BBVA Stadium.