Jun 7, 2013, 11:36 PM EST
Brad Evans’ first career international goal turned out to be a big one.
Just when the United States thought Jermaine Beckford had burgled a draw with an 89th minute goal off a set piece, Evans found space and fired a prayer which found the back of the net.
A slow match for much of the second half suddenly jolted to life when Beckford connected on a header off a long free kick and stunned the USA, who had been caught napping late.
It seemed like more of the same for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men. Coming into the match, the United States had scored first in 5 of 6 road qualifiers this World Cup cycle, but had only 4 points to show for it.
The win gives the U.S. sole possession of first place in the Hexagonal table, jumping past Mexico who defeated the Reggae Boyz just three days ago.
(UPDATE: After Mexico’s draw with Panama and Costa Rica’s win over Honduras, there’s a three-way tie for first place in the group, with the United States sitting in second place on goal differential)
The match started in the U.S.’s favor, with Michael Bradley hitting the post early and Fabian Johnson ravaging Jamaica’s right flank. Finally the US opened the scoring when Graham Zusi’s cross connected with Jozy Altidore’s head.
On the other end, the United States back four bent a few times but refused to break for much of the match, and looked set picked up their third clean sheet of Hex play until the late set piece goal.
Early in the second half the U.S. lost Jermain Jones to a concussion (it appeared he may have been knocked out), and the passing subsequently because a bit inaccurate, but the defense held against the growing pressure from Jamaica.
The pace of the game really slowed down after the goal, and neither team seriously threatened on net for a while aside from a shot off the post from Jamaica just before the half. Dempsey also had a bit of a chance on a chip in from Bradley, but the header from the captain went just over.
In the final 15 minutes, both teams found it difficult to hold possession for any length of time as the heat and humidity seemed to affect each side. The 76th minute saw Jamaican substitute Theo Robinson shoot wide of Tim Howard’s goal before U.S. substitute Edgar Castillo tried a long-range chip on the counter and also put it just wide of the far post.
The defense proved leaky again, and the heat proved an enemy of the visitors, but late drama grabbed a much needed victory when it counts.
Dec 11, 2013, 11:46 PM EST
You can’t been drawn against a team from your own federation – a rule that will hurt Arsenal, Manchester City on Monday.
Dec 11, 2013, 10:24 PM EST
The defenses need to get better in both places. A lot better:
No, the South Florida team will NOT be “Miami Beckham United;” plus the MLS news roundup for Dec. 11
Dec 11, 2013, 9:23 PM EST
A little social media brush fire over the new Miami expansion outfit was promptly, mercifully extinguished:
Dec 11, 2013, 8:33 PM EST
Highlights from all Wednesday’s games, which saw Barça’s newest start break out, Italy’s reigning champions eliminated.
Dec 11, 2013, 7:46 PM EST
Once you narrow the list to 15 or so, it’s nearly impossible to decide from there:
Dec 11, 2013, 6:59 PM EST
That assumes, of course, that the former U.S. manager was ever a serious candidate:
Dec 11, 2013, 6:11 PM EST
Tough draws await Arsenal, Manchester City in the knockout round.
Dec 11, 2013, 5:31 PM EST
Demba Ba’s 10th minute goal was enough to give Chelsea Group E.
Dec 11, 2013, 4:47 PM EST
Brazilian star’s hat trick helps Barcelona rout Celtic, claim first in Group H.
Dec 11, 2013, 4:43 PM EST
One good club from Group F was bound to be odd team out on Wednesday as Champions League group play finished with a high-wire tension.
Dec 11, 2013, 3:32 PM EST
There’s more to “coaching discussions” right now in domestic soccer than those four MLS openings:
Dec 11, 2013, 2:31 PM EST
He keeps performing for “club” … but when it will translate to performance for “country?”
Dec 11, 2013, 2:15 PM EST
Hull chairman Assem Allam is ready to risk backlash with choice comments and a formal application for name change.
Dec 11, 2013, 1:45 PM EST
From East Coast goalkeeper to West Coast coach in under five hours.
Dec 11, 2013, 1:28 PM EST
Which venues will the USA be playing in next summer? We take an in-depth look at them, right here:
Dec 11, 2013, 1:12 PM EST
Next stop: politicians. David Beckham’s bid for a stadium in Miami is moving ahead.
Dec 11, 2013, 12:34 PM EST
New York City FC is on the verge of getting a palace in the Bronx.
Dec 11, 2013, 12:09 PM EST
What? Roy Keane back down from a fight? Sir Alex and Keano still bitter after all these years.
Dec 11, 2013, 11:33 AM EST
Dwyer suggested a transfer abroad was imminent, but has backtracked.
Dec 11, 2013, 10:54 AM EST
Longtime Revs keeper and Boston Marathon bombing hero retires with 75 clean sheets and 110 wins.
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