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The rise of the Caribbean in the Gold Cup
Herve Bazile # 7 of Haiti in the picture celebrates with his teammate Steven Sabat after scoring a penalty kick against Canada in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on June 29, 2019, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Concacaf)
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MIAMI, Florida – Concacaf is using this time to reflect on the history of the Confederation’s competitions, including its premier national team tournament, the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Throughout the history of the Gold Cup since its inception in 1991, the winner’s circle has been dominated by Mexico and the United States, with challenges from various Central American countries like Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama, who have all reached a Gold Cup final.

Yet in recent Gold Cups, there has been a noticeable shift, as the Caribbean region has started to make waves in the tournament.

It started in the 2015 Gold Cup, as four teams from the Caribbean region reached the quarterfinal round, which included an all-quarterfinal match-up between Jamaica and Haiti, won by the Reggae Boyz, 1-0.

Jamaica used that momentum in their semifinal against the United States to post a first-ever win against the U.S. on U.S. soil, 2-1, on goals from Darren Mattocks and Giles Barnes.

It was a historical win in that Jamaica became the first ever Caribbean nation to reach a Gold Cup Final, where they fell 3-1 to Mexico. However, some history was made in that match as well, with Mattocks becoming the first Caribbean player to score in a Gold Cup Final with his goal in the 78’.

Two years later in the 2017 Gold Cup, Jamaica would once again prove to be a headache for a Gold Cup giant. This time it was Mexico who was put to the sword, as Kemar Lawrence’s memorable free-kick goal in the 88’ earned the islanders a 1-0 win.

Misfortune befell Jamaica in the Final though, as Golden Glove winning GK Andre Blake had to leave the Final against the U.S. with an injury. In the end, the U.S. would emerge with a 2-1 win to claim the trophy.

However, it was at the 2019 Gold Cup that other teams from the Caribbean started to get people’s attention. Haiti was the revelation of the tournament by finishing in first place in their group thanks to a comeback 2-1 win over Costa Rica before rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Canada in the quarterfinals, 3-2. 

Les Grenadiers also came within a crossbar of equalizing in extra time against Mexico in the semifinal in a very narrow 1-0 defeat.

Also in the 2019 Gold Cup, Curacao reached the quarterfinals in just their second Gold Cup, falling bravely 1-0 to the U.S., while Jamaica once again made another deep run before a 3-1 defeat to the U.S. in the semifinals.

With Martinique and Bermuda also posting group stage wins, plus a first ever point for Guyana, it is safe to say that the Caribbean is on the rise in the Gold Cup.
 

 
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