Despite some pre-match fear mongering in the press, Jurgen Klinsmann's confident declaration that the U.S. woudn't lose to Jamaica again proved well founded. Though the U.S. only beat Jamaica 1-0 in Ohio after losing 2-1 in Jamaica on Friday, the difference in the two performances was tremendous.
Klinsmann made a few key changes to the starting XI, most notably in the midfield with Graham Zusi, Danny Williams and Jose Torres replacing Kyle Beckerman, Maurice Edu and Jozy Altidore and all three proved to be inspired choices. Williams and Zusi played especially well, as Zusi got off a few excellent shots in the first half and both played integral parts in a constantly dangerous attack. But even with the U.S.'s dominance in the first 45 minutes, they just didn't have enough luck to get one to go in.
Herculez Gomez finally found a much deserved goal in the 55th minute though, when his free kick from distance went off the hands of outstretched goalkeeper Dwayne Miller and found the back of the net. Miller made some huge saves in the first half that prevented the U.S. from taking the lead earlier on, but his one mistake proved to be enough for the hosts to finally get the edge. The U.S. then held on for their first clean sheet of this World Cup qualifying campaign.
"It was important for us to regroup after what happened in Jamaica, we knew it wasn't our best performance," said Gomez.
"It wasn't always pretty but I think we did the job well," added the striker.
Jamaica, the U.S. and Guatemala are now all on seven points in CONCACAF Group A. The U.S. will have a chance to separate themselves from the pack in their next match against last-place Antigua and Barbuda, before returning home to play Guatemala in their final group-stage match.
Here's what Clint Dempsey had to say to Jamaica's Ryan Johnson during the game...
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- Graham Zusi