Soccer: Heartbreaking penalty sinks Canada in Nations League

Canada failed to confirm a spot at the Copa America after being eliminated by Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Nations League on Tuesday.

The men’s national team won the first round last Saturday in Kingston with 2-1, and tonight they lost at home with 3-2. In the end, the guests were in advantage with the goals scored on the road.

The winners of the quarter-final matches are guaranteed a place in the Copa America, while the losers will have to play a knockout game in March in the hope of securing one of the last two tickets to the 16-team tournament.

“We had control over the situation. In the first half, we had four chances to score, but (Andre) Blake made incredible saves,” underlined Milan Borjan after the defeat.

“We have to sit down, look each other in the eye and tell each other what went wrong,” added the Canadian goalkeeper. This is unacceptable! With players like us to achieve such a result is unacceptable. I am very angry and as the captain I apologize to the nation that we are not in the semi-finals. We have another chance in March for the Copa America and we will do everything to come back and make our country happy. »

“It’s a big disappointment,” said Canadian head coach Mauro Biello. They adjusted and were more aggressive. On our part, we were too nonchalant and lost easy balls. They gained momentum, scored and we were unable to come back. »

Canada, unbeaten since 2010 at BMO Field (15 wins, 7 draws), was well on its way after leading 1-0 at halftime, but the second half was a disaster.

“We entered the second half as if it would be easy. It’s our fault. They came out strong and they deserve it – asserted Borjan.

“I’m disappointed because the first half was very good,” Biello said. We couldn’t put them away and let them get back into the game. »

The goal was opened by Alphonso Davies in the 25th minute, whose shot touched goalkeeper Andre Blake, but the ball bounced behind him and crossed the goal line. Davies, who also scored in Game 1, scored his 27th career goal in a Maple Leaf uniform.

Canada did heat up in the second half, however, as Shamar Nicholson scored twice in a four-minute span to give Jamaica a sudden 2-1 lead.

Ismael Koné soon restored the home team’s lead, but another dramatic turn occurred when Stephen Eustaquio caught the ball with his hand in the penalty area.

The referees then awarded a penalty to the Jamaicans and penalty taker Bobby Reid made it 3-2 and put himself in position to win. The Canadians threatened in the final minutes, but still failed to close the gap.

In March, the semi-finals of the League of Nations will be played, and from July, the Copa America.

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