U.S Men power past Jamaica

The United States is one step closer to its seventh Gold Cup title thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Jamaica in the quarterfinals.

Jamaica was eager to attack from the opening whistle and Alvas Powell nearly put the team in the lead with a mid-range attempt that was saved by U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner in the 14th minute.

As the United States began to push forward with its outside backs, it was met by Jamaica’s stingy defense. Junior Flemmings cut off a pass meant for Shaq Moore in the 15th minute, while Sam Vines was denied a shot to score by Devon Williams just five minutes later.

Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake had his share of work as well, saving four shots on the night. He intercepted a long pass from Kellyn Acosta to Sebastian Lletget in the 21st minute and also denied Matthew Hoppe left-footed volley just a minute later.

One of the best opportunities in the first half for Jamaica came in the 38th minute on a curveball just outside the box from Flemmings, which forced a flying save from Turner.

Acosta shot from outside the box himself in the 45th minute, forcing a gasp from the crowd, but the match remained a stalemate at the break. 

The second half saw the intensity remain the same as Blake was called upon in the 47th minute to deny another attempt from Hoppe.

Jamaica had a breakaway opportunity from Flemmings in the 56th minute but he was stripped by Miles Robinson inside the box and James Sands cleared the danger. 

Gyasi Zardes nearly broke the deadlock, minutes after coming off the bench, but his 66th-minute attempt was saved by Blake.

Matthew Hoppe would ultimately be the man who would deliver the game-winner for the United States in the 84th minute. It was a huge moment for the Schalke 04 forward as he notched his first international goal for the U.S. 

For the 11th straight Gold Cup, the United States will be one of the four teams in the semifinals. Jamaica’s exit breaks a streak of three consecutive appearances in the tournament semifinals.