It was an evening full of early scoring. 

After Jamaica jumped out to a one-goal lead in the sixth minute against Canada in Game 1, Mexico did one better, scoring in the fourth minute against Honduras in Game 2 of the Gold Cup quarterfinals Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Jamaica held off Canada for a 2-1 win, while Mexico blanked Honduras 1-0 to advance. 

It was essentially a home game for Mexico, as the crowd filled in a large portion of the stadium for Game 2 after being light for the first game of the doubleheader. Green jerseys dominated the red seats, and with the win, it may as well have been Christmas in July for Mexico.

The two teams will now play against each other on Sunday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals at the Rose Bowl. It will be a rematch of the 2015 Gold Cup final, which saw Mexico top the Jamaicans 3-1. 

For Mexico, it was Rodolfo Pizarro that got the scoring started. In fact, he not only scored the lone goal, he set the play up for himself. 

Coming down the right side of the field, Pizarro crossed the ball over to teammate Orbelin Pineda on the far left side of the box. He then found Jesus Duenas in the middle, who touched a pass right back over to Pizarro who put the ball in the back of the net.

That would be enough to pick up the win, as the Mexico defense shut down the Honduras attack, allowing just 10 shots in the game. Mexico didn’t have its strongest game offensively either, but it held the ball for 57 percent of the game and had 10 shots of its own.

Honduras was never able to muster much of an offensive attack, with its best chance coming off of a corner kick in the 78th minute, but Mexico keeper Jesus Corona was there for the save.

Earlier in the day, it was Jamaica jumping out to the lead. 

Playing in front of a sparse crowd, Darren Mattocks streaked down the right side of the field, beating Canada’s Steven Vitoria. He played a cross through the box right to his teammate, Shaun Francis, who put the ball in the top left corner of the net for the first goal of the game. 

Jamaica’s stingy defense held off Canada for most of the remainder of the match as Jamaica took home the victory by playing a conservative, defensive style.

“It was a difficult game, especially when we went up 2-0,” Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore said. “We kept focus and we came away victorious.”

Jamaica’s second goal was a beauty by Romario Williams in the 50th minute. He received a pass from Mattocks, made a move around several defenders and drilled the ball into the right side of the net past a diving Milan Borjan who was able to get his fingers on the ball but not enough to knock it away. Mattocks finished the game with two assists.

Canada got on the board with a long strike by Junior Hoilett from about 25 yards out in the 61st minute. He was given space and without a clear path into the box, he took the shot he was given, driving it by Jamaica keeper Andre Blake.

The Canadians dominated ball possession and shots on goal for the entire game, but Jamaica, known for its strong defense, only allowed the one goal. Canada kept the ball for 64 percent of play and had 19 shots to Jamaica’s eight. 12 of the 17 were on target for Canada, compared to just five for Jamaica.

“My players left everything on the pitch,” Canada coach Octavio Zambrano said. “As a coach, you can’t ask for more. Obviously we came up short, but I thought we deserved it more. They played a type of game that we prepared for.”

Michael Petrasso had an outstanding chance to tie the game for Canada in the 87th minute, but his shot from about eight yards out was saved by Blake, who starred in the match. 

Looking ahead

After emerging victorious in Glendale, Mexico and Jamaica will now play each other in the Gold Cup semifinals on Sunday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. 

The United States and Costa Rica will play in the other semifinal, after each team won their quarterfinal games on Wednesday. The United States beat El Salvador 2-0, and Costa Rica beat Panama 1-0. The two teams will meet at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Saturday.

Follow Andrew Vailliencourt on Twitter: @AndrewVcourt