03.07.2023 03:34 h

Ferreira hits another hat-trick as USA, Jamaica reach Gold Cup quarters

Jesus Ferreira became the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks for the United States as the Gold Cup hosts beat Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 on Sunday to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Jamaica also qualified for the last eight from group A with ease after beating St. Kitts and Nevis 5-0 in Santa Clara, California.

Both the United States and Jamaica finish the group stage on seven points, having drawn in their meeting, but the Americans top the group due to better goal difference.

Trinidad went close to opening the scoring in the 11th minute in Charlotte when winger Levi Garcia crossed from the right, but Joevin Jones fired his volley over the bar.

Three minutes later, Ferreira, who had scored three in Wednesday's 6-0 win over St. Kitts, opened his history-making account with a smart first touch and quick finish after a pull-back from DeJuan Jones.

Ferreira then doubled the lead when Alex Zendejas put in a ball from the left and while Trinidad keeper Marvin Phillip kept out Ferreira's first effort, the FC Dallas forward pounced on the loose ball and fired home.

Colombia-born Ferreira grabbed his third from the penalty spot, confidently converting after Djordje Mihailovic was brought down in the box.

The Americans lost momentum after the break and Trinidad went close when Shannon Gomez struck the post with a fierce drive in the 62nd minute.

But 19-year-old substitute Cade Cowell made it 4-0, keeping his cool to round Phillip and slot home and moments later he struck the post after cutting in from the left.

Gianluca Busio made it five by side-footing a Julian Gressel pass into the net, while Brandon Vazquez completed the scoring after more good work from Cowell.

Jamaica were too strong for tournament debutants St. Kitts, going behind after half an hour when Kaheem Parris's low ball across the box was turned in by the grasping arm of keeper Julani Archibald.

After the Reggae Boyz had two efforts ruled out for offside, Jon Russell doubled the lead after a clever back-heel from Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey.

Di'Shon Bernard made it 3-0 after a jinking run from the influential Demarai Gray and goals from Daniel Johnson and Cory Burke completed the rout.

Later on Sunday in Group B, Honduras face Haiti and Mexico take on guest team Qatar.