A Red, White, Blue 1-0 Victory Over Jamaica.
Columbus, Ohio — The United States Men’s National Team rebounded from a loss at Jamaica in World Cup qualifying, beating the Reggae Boyz 1-0 Tuesday night as Herculez Gomez curled a free kick in the 55th minute.
After hitting the frame three times in a dominant first half as goalkeeper Dwayne Miller made several sparkling saves, the U.S. went ahead after Clint Dempsey was fouled by Rodolph Austin. Gomez’s drive from 28 yards went over the defensive wall and to the left of a diving Miller, who was only able to lightly brush the ball with his fingertips.
“That was my distance,” Gomez said with a grin.
The instant the ball found the net, Gomez knew the gravity what it meant to his team’s qualifying chances.
The U.S. rode the emotion of a sold-out Columbus Crew stadium decked out in red, white and blue to a critical victory in the regional semifinal round of qualifying for the 2016 World Cup in Brazil. Anything less than a victory would have dropped the U.S. far behind in third place in a group where only the top two teams advance to the final qualifying round.
“That was an awesome homecoming,” Gomez said afterward, almost drowned out as fans left Crew Stadium chanting and cheering. “You couldn’t ask for more. The crowd was great, and the guys fed off of it.”
The rowdy, partisan crowd – exactly what U.S. team officials were expecting – chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” all night, but particularly while the American players came to the stands to thank them after the victory.
The U.S., which made five changes to its starting lineup from Friday’s 2-1 loss in Kingston, is tied with Guatemala (2-1-1) at seven points in Group A of the North and Central American and Caribbean semifinals.
The U.S. has two more games in the semifinal round, a home game against Guatemala and a road game at Antigua, both later this year.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann celebrated the win – then moved onto the next hurdle.
“We know it’s not done yet,” he said. “We know it’s down to the wire. That’s what World Cup qualifiers are about