Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz started their Concacaf Gold Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Suriname in Group C at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Monday.
Shamar Nicholson opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Bobby Reid produced gold number 2 in the 26th minute, as the Reggae Boyz increased their unbeaten streak in Gold Cup opening games to three (2017, 2019, 2021).
Goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake and defender Alvas Powell made their returns to the starting 11 after more than a year out while Nicholson, Leon Bailey and Reid played for the first time this year. The starting 11 featured four players that made their international debuts this year.
Jamaica started strongly and after Bailey managed to move into Suriname’s penalty area to set up the first goal for Jamaica.
However, Suriname, who was making their tournament debut, had an opportunity to equalize immediately after as Gleofilo Vlijter was put through on goal but his shot went wide.
The Reggae Boyz doubled their lead thanks to a brilliant effort from Bobby Reid. Damion Lowe’s long ball was partially cleared by Ryan Donk but Reid’s volley from outside the penalty area gave Suriname goalkeeper Warner Hahn no chance.
While the start of the second half saw glimpses of Suriname trying to penetrate the Jamaican defense, they almost conceded a third in the 51st minute.
Suriname could only generate half chances throughout the second half. Sheraldo Beckford had an opportunity from a free-kick but his shot sailed into the stands and he had another chance that was wide of the target.
Diego Biseswar tried a curling shot 10 minutes from full time, but it was comfortably held by Blake.
Jamaica will play Guadeloupe in their second group game on Friday.
Head Coach Theodore Whitmore has made it clear that his Reggae Boyz are aiming to win this year’s edition of the tournament.