Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz fell just short of advancing to the finals of the CONCACAF Nations League on Sunday after they were held 2-2 by Mexico in their League A, Group A semi-final game played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The Jamaicans, who had to win to advance to the final set for June in Las Vegas, Nevada, led twice but were pegged back on each occasion by the Mexicans who played an entirely different team from the one that beat Suriname on Thursday.
Mexico finished the competition with eight points, two more than Jamaica with Suriname at the bottom of the table.
Fulham player Bobby Reid joined an elite list of Jamaicans who have scored in the Azteca when he gave Jamaica a shock lead with a brilliant goal in the eighth minute. He joins Hector Wright, Devon Ricketts, Walter Boyd and Shamar Nicholson.
The first half was extended by more than 10 minutes after the referee took the players off the field after 33 minutes for a weather break as a thunderstorm hit midway the half.
Reid fired Jamaica into the lead when he curled a one-time right-footed shot past veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa high into the right corner of the goal to hush the raucus crowd.
Orbelin Pineda brought Mexico back on level terms in the 17th minute but an own goal from Mexican defender Edson Alvarez in the 33rd minute restored Jamaica’s lead.
On the stroke of half-time, a rash tackle just inside the Mexican penalty area by Jamaican midfielder Ravell Morrison resulted in a penalty kick that Hirving Lozano powered past goalkeeper Jahmali Waite.
Both teams created scoring chances in the second half and Corey Burke who was a late substitute came close for Jamaica.