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Jamaica Stuns the CanMNT and Qualifies for Copa America

Jamaica Forward, Shamar Nicholson Played a Big Role in Jamaica Stunning the CanMNT at BMO Field

Jamaica stuns the CanMNT at BMO Field as the Reggae Boyz gave Canada their first loss at home for the first time since 2010. Credit to Jamaica, who took advantage of defensive mistakes made by Canada in the second half.

Jamaica Stuns the CanMNT on the Road at BMO Field

Andre Blake Stepped up Big for Jamaica

Andre Blake is the player of the game in this writer’s opinion. Yes, Shamar Nicholson, played very well, which will be talked about later in the article. However, Blake’s saves, especially early on kept Jamaica in the game. This included a save from very close range against Alphonso Davies to start off the game.

Blake also made some big saves against Cyle Larin, who found it difficult to put the ball into the back of the net. Yes, maybe Canada should have done better with those chances, but Blake made himself big and that is partly why they came up with the win.

CanMNT Made Too Many Defensive Mistakes

The CanMNT only allowed Jamaica one shot on target in the first half. However, notably two-three key defensive plays later in the game played a big role in Canada losing the game.

As for those two goals, there were very preventable. The first one seemed to show Eustaquio being too casual with the ball and Jamaica capitalized. The second goal, where Gray took the ball away from Ismaël Koné was able to get behind Canada’s backline too easily. Especially from so far off, Canada needs to do better on those possessions.

As for the goal-ahead goal that gave Jamaica the win, it does hit Eustaquio’s arm, but did not look intentional. Unfortunately, since the call was a penalty, there was no way of waiving it off, but it is something that can go either way. Bobby Decordova-Reid was able to make CanMNT goalkeeper, Milan Borjan the wrong way.

Substitutions for Canada Was Not Able to Make an Impact

The substitutions for players like Liam Millar and Junior Hoilett did not pay off. Jamaica tightened defensively and in the latter stages of the game did not look threatened. There was a chance from a Liam Millar cross that almost resulted in a goal. Millar was the standout substitute.

However, Canada was unable to generate any offence as Hoilett took a bad shot and the team in general was never able to get into Jamaica’s zone like they did earlier in the game.

Other Factors

Credit though should be given to Jamaica’s defence, they were able to weather the storm and ended as 3-2 winners at BMO Field. Canada had trouble breaking them down, even with Jamaica being down a man late in the game. This is what Mauro Biello said about the game:

“They made an adjustment with with Damion Lowe coming in the midfield they were a little bit more aggressive we were too casual a little bit too casual play now we’ve got balls lost easy balls and yeah it took took some momentum we’re able to score and then we weren’t weren’t able to get ourselves and climb out of that.”

What This Means for Both Teams

As for what this means for Canada, unfortunately this means they have been eliminated from the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League competition. After making the final of the 2021-22 Concacaf Nations League competition, this will feel as a massive disappointment for Les Rouges.

Canada still has a chance to qualify for Copa America on March 23 against Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago were eliminated in the competition by the U.S. on Monday. The winner advances to the Copa America competition next year in USA.

It did feel similar to that Haiti game in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Canada had the advantage, but made some uncharacteristic mistakes that cost them the game.

As for Jamaica, they advanced to Copa America against the CanMNT. After losing 4-0 that gave Canada a berth in a FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986 last year, the Reggae Boyz showed why they are a team to be reckoned with for years to come. The Jamaicans will now face the U.S. in the semi-final round of the Concacaf Nations League. This was also Jamaica’s first win over Canada since the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

READ MORE: The CanWNT Clinches Olympic Berth at BMO Field

As for the attendance, Canada was not able to match the attendance they had when the CanWNT qualified for the Olympics at the Jamaicans expense back on September.

CanMNT Brief Overview as Jamaica Stuns the CanMNT

READ MORE: CanMNT Edge Past Wasteful Jamaica in Nations League Quarters

The CanMNT felt like they took steps back from 2022. Yes, they made the finals of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League. However, since them they had an underwhelming 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, including a lacklustre 2-2 home draw against Guadeloupe, a 4-1 loss to Japan, and now the loss against Jamaica at home. It is also the first loss Canada has suffered at home since 2010, where they lost 2-0 to Peru at BMO Field.

Another reason could be a lack of games, with not much preparation before the two games against Jamaica:

“And, you know, you come off a World Cup and there’s a little bit of a down, and then you don’t have games to, to help that situation. But that’s the end of the day. You still got to come out of this game be on top.”

Now, everyone knows Canada’s potential, they showed it at Independence Park and also in the first half at home, with Alphonso Davies goal and in the second half, Ismaël Koné‘s goal. As painful as this defeat is, Canada can overcome this. The question is, will they be able to, which hopefully becomes clearer in the year 2024.


Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports, of a Jamaica men’s national soccer team headshot, on November 21, 2023.


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