Miércoles, 20 Marcha, 2019

USA takes first place in Gold Cup group

Nicaragua vs USA Tim Howard, Rapids goalkeeper, among US roster additions
Montrelle Montesinos | 17 Julio, 2017, 14:36

Bruce Arena's team hasn't been very impressive in Gold Cup play this time around.

This win means the USMNT gets a favorable quarterfinal matchup, though they'll have to wait to see who that is.

Without Miazga's late goal, the United States would have been paired with Costa Rica, the Group A victor (2-0-1).

The US team overcame a grueling resistance in the 3-2 win over Martinique on Wednesday.

Before kickoff, the Americans knew exactly what they needed to do.

Panama were the first to get their third match of the tournament underway at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, with the knowledge a win over Martinique would ensure progression.

Bill Hamid was challenged only once.

The Americans applied early pressure but didn't sustain rhythm, struggled to connect passes and let the tempo drop.

The team eventually settled down and they were able to push three goals across to get the result they needed.

With the half winding down, Joe Corona shattered the deadlock.

M Alejandro Bedoya, 7.5: Was active in pressing and on the ball, popping up in the right places. Corona, the late runner, took one touch forward and a pair of touches to his right to dodge two defenders. The goal scored in Wednesday's game against Panama was the first in Gold Cup history for the company, 26 years after the tournament was founded.

It appeared as if it was all written to perfection when Bedoya forced Nicaragua's Juan Barrera into a clear handle of the ball on a slide inside the area just five minutes after Rowe had put his name up in lights. His shot attempt was deflected, but the ball rolled to Bedoya who played a flawless pass between two defenders to Kelyn Rowe.

Rowe was played through by Bedoya and the New England Revolution man beat Lorente at his near post for his first global goal. The shot took a brutal deflection off of Nicaragua's Bismarck Veliz and sneaked past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Justo Lorente. Corona's bid, though, was worse than Dwyer's, a low attempt too close to the middle of the net, allowing Lorente to stuff it. The US played a dismally boring first half (not unlike they did against Panama) and then blew a two goal lead before needing to be rescued from humiliation by Jordan Morris with just under 15 minutes to play. Matt Besler's passing out of the back was instrumental for US possession and Graham Zusi's free kick on Miazga's victor was one of the best sequences of the match.