Los Angeles Football Club’s first pick in the 2019 MLS Draft Peter-Lee Vassell helped lead Jamaica to a 3-2 win over Honduras in the team’s first match of Gold Cup group play Monday night. After a surprising 1-0 friendly victory over the United States just a week before Gold Cup play, Vassell wasted no time leaving his imprint on this game.
The 19-year-old lined up at right midfielder, but quickly found himself involved in defensive and attacking plays on both sides of the field.
In the 15th minute, Vassell made an overlapping run down his opposite left side that began with a short pass to left wing Leon Bailey. Bailey sent a short through-ball from outside the box for the streaking Vassell, who one-timed a shot from just outside the six-yard line. It was tip-saved by a diving effort from the goalkeeper, but right wing Dever Orgill was in the right position to head home the airborne rebound into the empty net.
Jamaica went into halftime with a 2-0 lead. Vassell continued his early half impact when he found space for his second shot of the game just five minutes in. The shot flew from outside of the box towards the bottom left corner, but it was parried aside.
Honduras cut the deficit in half in the 54th minute after capitalizing on poor passing from the scrambling Jamaica defense. Vassell went back to work.
Jamaica earned their second corner kick of the game in the 55th minute. Vassell took the corner from the left side. The cross swung in towards the far post and center back Damion Lowe punched home a header to put Jamaica back up by two goals.
After a productive 77 minutes, Jamaica used its first substitution by replacing Vassell with Tyreek Magee. Though Honduras would again decrease the lead to just one goal, Jamaica was able to hold on for the victory.
In a game where Jamaica had considerable pressure, LAFC fans have every reason to be excited with the team’s newest addition so far this Gold Cup.
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