McAnuff aiming to continue Jamaica’s incredible run by beating United States
PUBLISHED: 17:30 22 July 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Orient midfielder always thought Reggae Boyz could do well in Gold Cup after impressing at Copa America
Leyton Orient midfielder Jobi McAnuff is hoping to shoot down the United States when Jamaica come up against them in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup tonight (Wednesday).
The last-four clash takes place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and the feats of the O’s man has already helped create history.
The Reggae Boyz haven’t reached the semi-finals of the competition since 1995 and this is the first time a Caribbean side has made it through to this stage since 2007.
But Jamaica will have a tough task against the reigning champions.
It has been a successful tournament regardless of what happens for McAnuff personally and his country.
The Orient midfielder has played a big role in all of his team’s fixtures, after also starting in all three of their Copa America fixtures last month.
In Jamaica’s Group B opener against Costa Rica, McAnuff scored a stunning solo goal to earn a point as they drew 2-2.
He dribbled past two players before poking under the Los Ticos goalkeeper to level the scores and it would prove enough for his country to pick up a point.
The Reggae Boyz left it late in their second match against host nation Canada, though, as they only secured a 1-0 win thanks to an injury-time goal from Rodolph Austin.
Another one-goal victory followed against El Salvador in Jamaica’s final group match thanks to Garath McCleary to ensure they finished top and set up a quarter-final meeting with Haiti. That clash took place at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and McAnuff played his part.
The Orient midfielder stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes as Giles Barnes’ early first-half strike was enough to give Jamaica a third straight 1-0 success and send them through to the semi-finals against the Americans.
The reigning champions had beaten Cuba 6-0 in their quarter-final, but the Reggae Boyz will be hoping to cause another upset.
Regardless of what happens in today’s match, Jamaica will have one more fixture to play. They will contest the third/fourth place play-off on Saturday (July 25) or the final on Sunday (July 26).
But although the displays of the Reggae Boyz may have surprised some of those watching from afar, McAnuff felt it was always possible after they impressed during the Copa America last month – only losing 1-0 to Argentina in one group fixture.
“No we aren’t surprised with our results so far,” the O’s ace told Concacaf. “We came here off the back of some good performances in the Copa.
“We wanted to build on that and obviously we have taken that into this tournament and we hope to continue that.”