Giles Barnes scored the only goal in the seventh minute and Jamaica edged Haiti 1-0 Saturday, advancing the “Reggae Boyz” to a Gold Cup semi-final against holders United States.
The first knockout stage match between two Caribbean rivals in the biennial North American football championship’s history followed a 6-0 US rout of Cuba in the day’s other quarter-final.
Jamaica will face the Americans on Wednesday in Atlanta. The other semi-final there will match the winners of Sunday’s Mexico-Costa Rica and Panama-Trinidad and Tobago matches.
Barnes, a striker for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, slid in a low angled shot past a Haitian defender and goalkeeper Johnny Placide.
Haiti forced Jamaican goalkeeper Ryan Thompson into three first-half saves and sent another scoring attempt just off the outside edge of the woodwork. And the Haitians kept the pressure on in the second half, but could not crack Jamaica’s defense.
Haiti matched its best-ever Gold Cup showing, having also reached the last eight in 2002 and 2009.
The “Reggae Boyz” had never won a Gold Cup knockout stage match before, falling three times in the quarter-finals and twice in the semi-finals when only four teams advanced out of the group phase.
Jamaica’s best Gold Cup finish was a share of third in 1993.