Jun 7, 2013, 11:36 PM EDT
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.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:12 PM EDT
List of things Cristiano Ronaldo can’t do: Throw a proper punch.
Aug 22, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 5:10 PM EDT
Toffees and Gunners clash, Liverpool head to Man City, London derby time and much more.
Aug 22, 2014, 4:59 PM EDT
Goal, assist from Dutch star helped deliver Bayern three points to open the Bundesliga season.
Aug 22, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
Can Villa continue their good start to the season? Watch live, Saturday 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
Aug 22, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
Birmingham City, 1860 Munich, Millwall, Nurnberg… it seems Brek Shea is a man in demand when it comes to his loan from Stoke City.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
The Bavarians added Robert Lewandowski, and look poised to lead again. Who are the favorites to emerge in the race for second?
Aug 22, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT
Matchweek 2 brings a few killer games including Everton v. Arsenal on Saturday and Manchester City v. Liverpool on Monday.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
From the early days in Italy, to the craziness of Man City and then back to AC Milan, here’s the timeline of Balotelli’s life so far.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT
The 19-year-old American attacker’s only senior appearance for Bayern was a Champions League sub. That could change today.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT
Probably not, but with Sevilla and Barcelona strengthening while Atletico deals with roster tumult, look for some changes near the top.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
PSV Eindhoven called the police, upping the ante on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
Where and how to watch every single PL game in Week 2, right here.
Aug 22, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT
A young Brazilian is the newest name linked with Louis van Gaal, while Manchester City could be selling a top young defender
Aug 22, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT
Jones wants to head to Chicago, and wants more money if he goes to New England.
Aug 22, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT
Nantes is off to another strong start, and Ale Bedoya’s club now stares down a match-up with Monaco.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
Labeling vile statements in text messages “friendly banter” has Cardiff in a frenzy, and looking for fresh consequences.
Aug 22, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT
Arseanl boss calls Everton an important test while praising Liverpool’s impending acquisition.
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