DARREN Mattocks and Giles Barnes scored first-half goals to propel Jamaica to an upset 2-1 victory over the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals in Atlanta.
The victory ensured Jamaica became the first Caribbean team to reach the Gold Cup Final since its inception in 1991.
The Reggae Boyz will face Mexico in Philadelphia on Sunday after El Tri overcame 10-man Panama 2-1 with two late penalties in a combustible affair.
The hosts and 2013 champions had reached five successive Gold Cup finals and were fresh off a 6-0 thrashing of Cuba in the quarter-finals but the tournament favourites were left shell-shocked by an early Jamaican onslaught.
Mattocks, who was suspended for his team’s quarter-final win over Haiti, struck in the 31st minute with a header before Barnes scored from a free-kick five minutes later.
Home captain Michael Bradley dragged his side back into the match with a goal in the 48th minute but the US were unable to find an equaliser despite pressuring Jamaica goalkeeper Ryan Thompson for much of the second half.
In the late match at the same venue, Mexico emerged victorious from yet another controversial marathon to reach their fourth final in the last five tournaments.
Andres Guardado netted two late penalty kicks to lead Mexico to victory over an unlucky Panama side, who were reduced to 10 men after 20 minutes when forward Luis Tejada was shown a red card for raising his arm into the face of Francisco Rodriguez.
The Mexicans had defeated Costa Rica in equally controversial fashion in the quarter-finals when Guardado scored a contentious 124th minute penalty to secure a 1-0 victory. ( Al Jazeera Sports )
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