Gray Grabs Assist In Jamaica Debut

Demarai Gray made his debut for Jamaica in the early hours of Sunday morning, contributing with a first-half assist in their 1-1 draw against the United States.

The Everton forward created the opening goal of the game, crossing the ball to Philadelphia Union's Damion Lowe who headed home in the 13th minute.

However, the United States, playing on home soil in front of 36,666 fans at Chicago’s Soldier Field, netted a late equaliser through FC Cincinatti’s Brandon Vazquez.

The match was the opening game of this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which Jamaica and the United States are in group A, alongside Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica started brightly. Within the first 15 minutes, Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey won a free-kick around 35 yards from goal in the United States’ half.

Gray, stepping up to take the set-piece, whipped in a dangerous ball towards the edge of the six-yard area, finding the diving header of Lowe, who powered the ball into the back of the net.

A performance which saw Gray operating primarily off the left-wing, the Everton forward followed his assist with an attempt of his own in the 17th minute. However, his shot from the left side of the the box was blocked.

Jamaica could have doubled their lead not long after, but Arsenal’s Matt Turner denied Bailey from the penalty spot to keep the USA firmly in the game.

Spurred on by their goalkeeper’s efforts, chances followed throughout the rest of the game for the Americans. B.J. Callaghan’s side registered 13 shots during the 90 minutes – seven more than Jamaica, who had just one in the second half.

Vazquez, an 82nd minute substitute for the United States, found the back of the net just six minutes after his introduction, latching onto a loose ball in the box, before guiding his effort into the net.

Gray was taken off in the 89th minute, leaving the field following a performance which saw the debutant make a vital contribution for his team.

The final whistle sounded after seven minutes of stoppage time and both teams left Soldier Field with a point.

Jamaica’s next outing sees them take on Trinidad and Tobago at CityPark in St Louis on Thursday 29 June (kick-off at 12.30am BST).