USA revel in 6th Gold Cup title after beating Jamaica

USA revel in 6th Gold Cup title after beating Jamaica
The USA men’s football team defeated Jamaica 2-1 to claim their sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup title in California on Wednesday night.

The tournament hosts claimed the title thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Jordan Morris, after Jozy Altidore’s goal for the USA just before half-time had been cancelled out by Jamaica’s Je-Vaughn Watson five minutes after the break.

In a key moment on 19 minutes, Reggae Boyz goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake was forced off with a hand injury, to be replaced by Dwayne Miller, after saving from USA’s Kellyn Acosta following an initial stop from a long-range Altidore effort.

Bruce Arena’s USA dominated for large spells against a Jamaican team that went into the game as underdogs, despite having shocked Mexico in the semifinal.

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The Stars and Stripes took the lead through Altidore’s a curling free-kick just before half-time at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

They were pegged back, however, when Watson capitalized on sloppy defending from a corner to fire home at the back post on 50 minutes.

The USA had plenty of the ball as they pressed for the winner, and Omar Gonzalez put the ball narrowly wide with 20 minutes remaining, before Miller saved well first from Morris and then from substitute Clint Dempsey, tipping his header onto the post.

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Miller was finally beaten with two minutes of normal time on the clock, when Seattle Sounders striker Morris fired home when the ball fell to him 15 yards out.

It was heartbreak for Theodore Whitmore's Jamaican team, who again fell at the final hurdle as they had done two years ago against Mexico. 

For US boss Arena, though, it was his third Gold Cup title, making him the most successful coach in the competition’s history.

USMNT are also now just one title behind Mexico’s record seven wins in the CONCACAF showpiece.