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Gold Cup: Demarai Gray’s birthday brace sends Jamaica past T&T

demarai gray

On his 26th birthday, Demarai Gray scored a first-half brace as Jamaica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup encounter in St. Louis on Wednesday.

The result puts Jamaica (1-0-1, 4 points) atop Group A ahead of the late game at St. Louis, which pits the US (0-0-1, 1 point) against Saint Kitts and Nevis (0-1-0, 0 points). On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago (1-1-0, 3 points) defeated Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Each of the four groups’ top two teams advances to the quarterfinals.

Gray’s 12-yard right-footed goal in the 14th minute was assisted by Leon Bailey.

Bailey broke in one-on-one with Trinidad and Tobago goaltender Nicklas Frenderup three minutes later and hammered home a left-footed effort that was first called out for offside. A video check, however, revealed that Bailey was onside, and the goal remained.

Gray, who had just recently joined the Jamaican team after playing for his native England at the youth level, scored again in the 29th minute. Michail Antonio went down in the penalty area, but he held possession of the ball and passed it to Gray, who tapped it into an open net.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Andre Rampersad scored a consolation goal in the 49th minute, and Jamaica’s Dujuan Richards scored in second-half stoppage time.

On Sunday, Jamaica closes its group stage against Saint Kitts and Nevis in Santa Clara, California. Trinidad and Tobago will face off against the United States in Charlotte on the same day.