Jamaica defeated Antigua and Barbuda 2-0 in their final preliminary round fixture on Wednesday to qualify for the knockout round of the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship in Honduras.
Zion Scarlett gave the Reggae Boyz a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute at the Estadio Yankel Rosenthal in San Pedro Sula before Jahmari Clarke added on an insurance goal in the 81st for the 2-0 final.
Jamaica finished the preliminary round in third place to secure the final qualifying spot from Group H.
The young Reggae Boyz were securing their first victory following a 1-1 tie with Costa Rica and a humiliating 5-0 defeat to host nation Honduras, which topped the four-team group with maximum nine points.
Costa Rica and Jamaica finished on four points each but the Costa Ricans were rewarded second spot as a result of a better goal difference.
Antigua and Barbuda finished bottom of the table without a point.
The 16-team Knockout Stage will begin with the Round of 16 (June 25-26), followed by the Quarterfinals (June 28-29), Semifinals (July 1), and Final (July 3).
All Knockout Stage matches will be played in a single-match elimination format, with the four semifinalists qualifying for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and the finalists (two teams) for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games.
In the other Group H game, Honduras complete a perfect group stage with a 1-0 victory over Central American rivals Costa Rica.
After a hard-fought first 45 minutes, the game’s lone goal would come in the 59th via the penalty spot, with Jeyson Contreras coolly converting a penalty to earn another full three points for the Catrachos.
Group E group stage was also completed on Wednesday.
Canada 4 Saint Kitts and Nevis 0
The day in Group E started at the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa where Canada defeated Saint Kitts and Nevis, 4-0, to punch their ticket to the knockout round.
Things stood on a knife’s edge until just shy of the hour mark when Canada finally broke through for the first goal in the 59th minute courtesy of Tiago Coimbra.
Six minutes later in the 65th minute the advantage was 2-0 on a long-range strike from Matthew Catavolo.
Canada kept their foot on the gas and stretched the lead to 3-0 on a left-footed finish from Lowell Wright in the 78th minute. Mael Henry then rounded out the 4-0 scoreline in the 80th minute with a clever back-heel into net.
USA 3 Cuba 0
In the group’s second match, the USA nailed down the top spot thanks to a 3-0 win over Cuba.
Quinn Sullivan was the big star thanks to his hat trick before halftime. Sullivan scored in the 2nd, 8th and 43rd minutes to give the USA a commanding lead that they held onto until the final whistle.