U.S. MNT Tied atop Group A Lead of FIFA World Cup Qualifying with 1-0 Victory Against Jamaica
- USA Tied Atop Group with Guatemala with Two Qualifying Matches Remaining
- Herculez Gomez Scores Winner in 55th Minute for His Second Goal of Qualifying
- U.S. MNT Faces Antigua & Barbuda in Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 12 at North Sound, Antigua, with Broadcast on beIN SPORT
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 11, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Team moved back into first place in its group with Tuesday’s 1-0 victory against Jamaica in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier backed by a sold-out crowd of 23,881 at Columbus Crew Stadium. The victory came during a patriotic night in recognition of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The USA rebounded from its previous 2-1 loss at Kingston, Jamaica, on Sept. 7, with an energetic effort to move into first in Group A of the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying. The U.S. and Guatemala are tied in points (7) and goal differential (plus-2) with identical 2-1-1 records to share the group lead, while Jamaica (2-1-1) also is tied in points but behind in goal differential (plus-1).
Only two matches remain in World Cup qualifying as the U.S. MNT next faces Antigua & Barbuda at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 12 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. Fans can watch the live broadcast on beIN SPORT or follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
Gomez broke the deadlock in the 55th minute on Tuesday night, lining up a right-footed free kick that hit the upper right of the net as Jamaica goalkeeper Dwayne Miller failed to keep out the curling shot. For Gomez, it was his second tally in World Cup qualifying and fifth career international goal. He also scored during the USA’s 3-1 victory against Antigua & Barbuda in its World Cup qualifier opener.
The goal came after the U.S. dominated the first half with an 8-0 shots advantage, including three shots off the frame and several other attempts either blocked by Jamaica’s defense or saved by Miller.
The USA pressured early against Jamaica, and right back and Budweiser Man of the Match Steve Cherundolo was responsible for several buildups, including a sixth-minute effort to set up Graham Zusi. Zusi’s shot from a few yards in the box threatened the goal and clipped the crossbar.
In the 20th minute, Cherundolo’s strike from outside the box deflected dramatically off of the Jamaica defense and Miller reacted to his left to get enough of a touch to direct it off of the right post.
The USA offense hit the frame a third time when Danny Williams launched a tenacious shot from more than 25 yards out that clanked off of the inside of the left post in the 30th minute.
Jamaica out-shot the USA 3-2 in the second half and only put one shot on frame as USA goalkeeper Tim Howard saved the lone attempt for his 29th career shutout.
Following the Oct. 12 game against Antigua & Barbuda, the USA concludes World Cup qualifying against Guatemala at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 16 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be televised on ESPN2, WatchESPN.com, the ESPN app. and the Univision family. (TICKETS)
- In Tuesday’s other Group A match, Guatemala defeated Antigua & Barbuda 1-0 on Carlos Ruiz’s 26th-minute goal.
- The U.S. improved to 7-2-2 this year and is now 11-1-8 all-time against Jamaica.
- The U.S. maintained its unbeaten record at Columbus Crew Stadium, moving to 6-0-3 all-time at the USA’s first soccer specific venue.
- The USA moved to 9-0-3 in home matches against Jamaica.
- The U.S. MNT returned captain and center back Carlos Bocanegra and right back Steve Cherundolo into Tuesday’s starting back line. Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst started in the Sept. 7 match against Jamaica
- Bocanegra earned his 107th career international cap to move into sole possession of seventh place all-time in U.S. history, moving ahead of Eric Wynalda (106).
- Goodson was suspended for the match because of yellow card accumulation but will be available for selection in the USA’s next World Cup qualifier.
- Other starting lineup changes by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in the Jamaica rematch included Jose Torres, Graham Zusi and Danny Williams ahead of Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu. For Zusi, it marked his first-ever World Cup qualifying appearance and for Williams it was his first start in a World Cup qualifier.
- Jamaica made one starting lineup change from its previous win against the USA, starting Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings ahead of Ryan Johnson.
- In remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001, the crowd cheered and waved their flags energetically between 9:00 and 11:00 on the clock, with chants of “USA!” mixed in.
-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: Sept. 11, 2012
Competition: 2012 FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Group A
Venue: Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JAM 0 0 0
USA – Herculez Gomez 55th minute
USA : 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson; 14-Danny Williams; 19-Graham Zusi (7-Maurice Edu, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 16-Jose Torres (11-Brek Shea, 67); 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 80)
Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Kyle Beckerman, 10-Joe Corona, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 18-Terrence Boyd
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
JAM : 13-Dwayne Miller; 19-Arian Mariappa, 2-Nyron Nosworthy, 14-Lovel Palmer; 15-Je-Vaughn Watson (20-Tremaine Stewart, 75), 17-Rodolph Austin, 7-Jason Morrison, 6-Jermaine Taylor; 21-Luton Shelton (capt.) (18-Kavin Bryan, 66); 10-Omar Cummings (11-Dane Richards, 76), 9-Ryan Johnson
Subs not used: 1-Duwayne Kerr, 3-Dicoy Williams, 4-Shavar Thomas, 5-Darren Mattocks, 8-Joel Senior, 12-Andrae Williams, 16-O’Brian Woodbine, 22-Ewan Grandison, 23-Jacomeno Barrett
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 10 / 3
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 19
Offside: 2 / 3
JAM – Lovel Palmer (caution) 17th minute
USA – Graham Zusi (caution) 62
Referee: Jose Pineda (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Oscar Velasquez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Melvyn Cruz (HON)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (HON)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Steve Cherundolo