This was Jamaica's first ever appearance in a Gold Cup Final and was part of an excellent summer for the Reggae Boyz who also put up a determined display at the Copa America. Sadly, this morning's final proved to be just one step too many for the Caribbean side as Mexico rammed home a 1-0 first-half advantage with two second-half strikes, rendering Darren Mattock's 80th minute strike irrelevant.
Of particular note to Reading fans were the performances of Michael Hector and Garath McCleary and sadly both very much had nights to forget. For McCleary it was simply a case of being ineffective and withdrawn after an hour but unfortunately for Hector, he had to take a share of the blame for both the second and third Mexican goals.
For the second he was robbed in possession just outside the box and the third saw his miss-hit clearance eventually lead to Oribe Peralta scoring. You can see both goals below.....
Goal MEX - No.9 @Chuycorona25 - JAM 0-2 MEX #GoldCup2015 #CopaOro2015 @ItsTheJFF @miseleccionmx http://t.co/79rbPyaCFC— Gold Cup 2015 (@GoldCup) July 27, 2015
Goal MEX - No.19 @OribePeralta - JAM 0-3 MEX #GoldCup2015 #CopaOro2015 @ItsTheJFF @miseleccionmx http://t.co/LznuhaijfB— Gold Cup 2015 (@GoldCup) July 27, 2015
So while the final may have been a disappointment, you have to give massive amounts of credit to Jamaica for simply getting there and I'm sure both Hector and McCleary will have gained plenty confidence heading into the new campaign. McCleary sent out a tweet after the match thanking all the fans for their support over the last few weeks.
Thanks for the support everyone. I'm a proud Jamaican. #Blessed ❤️— Garath McCleary (@gmccleary12) July 27, 2015
Meanwhile, Hector discussed staying on the pitch to watch Mexico lifting the trophy after his mistakes made a huge difference in the game's outcome, telling reporters:
"I wanted to watch them lift the trophy to make me realize what I’ve done and make me feel that I don’t want to be in that situation ever again in my life, to hopefully win this tournament in the future.
"I wanted to feel the pain of what it feels like to lose in a final.
"I’m gutted for the players, I said in the changing room that I’m sorry for the mistakes that cost the goals. They didn’t deserve this in the final."
When they'll be available again for Reading remains a question to be answered but in the mean time, congratulations to both and safe trip home!