Jamaica captain and match-winner Rodolph Austin was thrilled with how his team overcame a stubborn Canada and tough conditions to win on Saturday.
With the temperature in Houston having peaked at 34 degrees Celsius and humidity around 50 per cent, both sides were drenched in sweat at BBVA Compass Stadium within minutes of the opening whistle of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B encounter.
But Jamaica had to wait until almost the final minute of the match to secure a 1-0 win in Texas, with Austin heading Adrian Mariappa’s cross home from six yards in stoppage time.
The 30-year-old midfielder applauded his team’s effort immediately after the final whistle.
“Well, it was very hot out there,” he said in his official on-pitch interview.
“It’s very humid and, you know, we fight through it and we get the three points and that’s very good.”
The victory took Jamaica to the top of Group B with four points, leaving them two clear of both Costa Rica and El Salvador by the end of Saturday, as the latter two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the second game of Houston’s double-header.
“We know we have the quality to lead the group,” Austin said.
For Canada, the performance was another frustrating one as they failed to trouble the scorers for the fifth straight match at the continental championships.
El Salvador and Canada completed a 0-0 draw in their opening match of the 2015 Gold Cup, while the Canadians also remained goalless in their three games of the 2013 edition.
“In the first half we had a few good opportunities and couldn’t put them away,” midfielder Julian de Guzman told Canada Soccer’s official website.
“From then on we were fighting to stay in the game. We gave away a lot of energy in the first half.
“There were too many times we were giving the ball away and in that heat it makes things very difficult.”
Canada sit bottom in Group B with just one point but could still progress to the quarter-finals if they can get something out of their game against Costa Rica on Tuesday.