U.S. U-20s earn crucial win in Concacaf qualifying

The USA moved closer toward clinching a berth in the Concacaf Under-20 Championship playoffs when it beat host Jamaica, 2-0, on a pair of penalty kicks by the Columbus Crew's Romain Gall, who leads the tournament with five goals.

Jan. 18 in Montego Bay
Jamaica 0 USA 2. Goals: Gall pen. 34, pen. 70.
Jamaica -- Nelson, Johnson (Davis, 65), M.Stewart, Dyer, Brown, Smith (Cohen, 74), Levee (Roberts, 58), Clarke, Currie, Benbow, K.Stewart.
USA -- Steffen, Moore, Requejo, Carter-Vickers, Miazga; Canouse, Hyndman (Flores, 85), Gall (Arriola, 78), Thompson, Jamieson, Spencer (Gooch, 64).
Att.: 3,500.

The first goal came when Tommy Thompson was taken down by Jamaica defender Allando Brown in the box. The came came after a mistimed back pass was stolen by Bradford Jamieson IV, who was taken down by Jamaica's American goalkeeper, Nicholas Nelson.

Nelson had kept winless Jamaica in the game with several big saves in the first half on Emerson Hyndman, Gall and Jamieson. The USA finished with a 16-6 edge in shots.

The victory moved the USA into third place with one game to play against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday. A win or tie against T&T will clinch no worse than third place. A T&T win would leave the teams tied with seven points, but T&T would finish third by virtue of the first tiebreaker, head-to-head competition.

Earlier on Sunday, Panama beat T&T, 1-0, to win its fourth game in a row. Panama will win Group A with a win over tie against Guatemala. Guatemala defeated Aruba, 2-0, to improve to 3-0-1 and clinch no worse than third place. Panama's win means the USA can't win its group outright.

The two group winners clinch automatic berths in the Under-20 World Cup. The second- and third-place teams are reseeded and meet in playoffs to determine the other two teams in the final.

-- FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who captained the USA in its first two games and injured his knee late in the game against Panama, returned to Dallas for further evaluation by the FC Dallas staff.

1 comment about "U.S. U-20s earn crucial win in Concacaf qualifying".
  1. cisco martinez, January 19, 2015 at 1:57 p.m.

    Extremely ugly game, USA controlled the tempo for most of the game, but looked like a college game with two countries playing each other. I was impressed with Thompson and Jamieson, Flores looked technically sound, but besides that left a lot to be desired.

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