Jamaica rumbled out to a dominant display in the opening match of the Concacaf Gold Cup at Exploria Stadium on Monday, taking down Suriname in a 2-0 result.
Although Suriname out-possessed (holding 52% of possession) and out-shot (taking 10 shots to 7), Jamaica, the flow of the game remained firmly in the favor of the Reggae Boyz from the opening minutes of action.
Shamar Nicholson opened scoring for Jamaica in the sixth minute, collecting the ball after Leon Bailey danced with it through the Suriname box and burying the ensuing shot.
That goal served as the game-winner as Jamaica held Suriname scoreless on the night, bolstered by three saves from Philadelphia Union star Andre Blake.
But it was Bobby De Cordova-Reid who ultimately stole the show when he pummeled a volley from outside the box in the 26th minute, sending a searing shot to curl past the keeper’s gloves.
Although Monday was only the second night of the Gold Cup, the volley was already being heralded as a potential best goal of the tournament.
The game marked a Gold Cup debut for Suriname, which had never competed in the Concacaf tournament before this year.
Monday was the first of three nights of Gold Cup action at Exploria Stadium, which will host Group C for the opening stage of the tournament. Each team in Group C — Suriname, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Guadeloupe — will play each other once, with the next matches coming this Thursday and next Monday.
Opening-stage play has been divided into four separate groups. The United States and Canada are in Group B while Mexico is in Group A. The top two teams to finish in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, which begin on July 24.
The Gold Cup final will take place on August 1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The next round of Gold Cup action in Orlando will commence Friday with Jamaica facing Guadeloupe and Costa Rica facing Suriname. Tickets are available for the remaining games on the Concacaf website and Ticketmaster.