Joe Corona and Kelyn
Rowe also scored for the USA, but Dom Dwyer and Corona both had penalty kicks saved by Nicaraguan Justo Lorente.
With the win in its first meeting with Nicaragua, the USA achieved its goal of winning Group B at the Gold Cup and avoiding Group A winner Costa Rica in the quarterfinals.
Gold Cup, Quarterfinals
July 19 in Philadelphia, Pa.
QF1: Costa Rica vs. Panama
QF2: USA vs. 3A/C
TV: FS1, UniMas, 6 pm and FS1, Univision, 9 pm ET.
July 20 in Glendale, Ariz.
QF3: 1C vs. 3A/B
QF4: 2C vs. Canada
TV: FS1, UniMas, 7:30 pm and FS1, Univision, 10:30 pm ET.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) Caps/Goals
6 Bill Hamid (D.C. United), 3/-
Solid game in first U.S. appearance since disastrous 4-1 loss to Ireland in 2014. Came up big to stop long-range blast from Juan Barrera and cover up rebound in 74th minute. Also got touch on ball to clear lone Nicaragua threat by Bismarck Veliz in first half.
5 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 51/5.
Played perfectly angled ball to find Miazga for third goal. Almost scored on solo effort in 20th minute. But had several nervous giveaways.
5 Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 42/1.
Beaten to ball, leading to best Nicaragua chance in first half, but was not placed in many difficult situations after that.
7 Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG), 3/1.
A confident game from lone field player who didn't play in first two group games. Clean on the ground and in air. Topped first U.S. start with headed goal, the kind of play that will get him more looks.
5 Jorge Villafana (Santos, MEX) 9/0.
Another quiet game, nothing terrible, but not as involved as in strong games in World Cup qualifiers.
6 Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) 10/0.
Played long ball through lines that set up first goal. A major factor in settling midfield during second half. Dispossessed on first Nicaragua chance in first half.
7 Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union) 64/2.
Broke down wing and cut ball back to find Corona on first goal, played the ball to Rowe for second goal. Earned second U.S. penalty, which Corona missed. Now headed home to be with wife for birth of second child.
5 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX) 20/3.
Did very well to get himself open in middle for first U.S. goal since Gold Cup 2013 quarterfinals but lucky to get deflection. Much more involved than in Panama game. Could have done better with service on set pieces. But that missed PK ... even worse than Dwyer's miss.
6 Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), 3/1.
Has now worked hard to create goals for himself and others in two starts on left side. Excellent effort to score second goal before exiting. Placed two shots on frame in first half.
4 Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC) 3/2.
Drew first penalty but will rue missed PK that would have given him goals in first three U.S. games. Had key secondary role on Corona goal but struggled to find chances for himself in first half.
4 Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), 4/0.
Played ball on which Dwyer was fouled for penalty. For all his work should have been more incisive, though, in clogged midfield.
6 Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX), 7/2.
Brought some needed energy in second half after deflating PK misses by Dwyer and Corona. Most important, did good job of using wing on relatively narrow field.
5 Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 17/4.
Took one for the team, wiped out in collision with keeper Justo Lorente on Arriola ball in from right wing.
6 Juan Angulo (New England Revolution) 25/3.
Drew red card on Luis Copete and foul that led to free kick for third U.S. goal.
(Ratings: 1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
TRIVIA. The USA has now won its group at the Gold Cup 13 times in 14 editions. It finished second to Panama in 2011 when it lost its first and only group match.
July 15 in Cleveland
USA 3 Nicaragua 0. Goals: Corona 36, Rowe 56, Miazga 88.
USA – Hamid; Zusi, Miazga, Besler, Villafana; Corona (Morris 67), Rowe (Arriola 61), McCarty, Bedoya; Pontius, Dwyer (Agudelo 75).
Nicaragua -- Lorente, Copete, Errington, Quijano, Veliz (Pavon 70), Lopez, Peralta (Hurtado 46), Cadena, Garcia (Nino 70), Galeano, Barrera.
Red Card: Nicaragua -- Copete 85.
Referee: Melvin Matamoros (Honduras).