If the US National Team qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may have Sigi Schmid to thank as twice now Schmid’s players have come in from seemingly out of nowhere to score pivotal goals for the US in CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament.
First it was Eddie Johnson scoring twice against Antigua and Barbuda, then assisting on the game-winning goal against Guatemala in the Third Round last October.
Then on Friday, Brad Evans netted the stoppage-time match-winner to give the US a 2-1 win over Jamaica in the Hexagonal Round, moving them to 2-1-1 (7 points) and into the top spot in the final round.
The US scored in the 30th minute off a header by Jozy Altidore, but gave up an 89th minute goal to Jermaine Beckford to equalize and it looked like they would have to settle for the 1-1 draw. But they continued to press and earned a late corner kick. Michael Bradley played the short corner to Graham Zusi, who returned the ball to Bradley in the left corner. Evans drifted to the near post eight yards out and Bradley found him all alone. He turned a fired a shot past Donovan Ricketts and the US held on for a 2-1 victory.
“They were dire moments. We sent everybody forward. It was a short corner. Michael found me and I turned and got the shot off as fast as I could. I think it may have taken a deflection, but either way, I’ll take it,” Evans told BeIN SPORT after the match. “That never say die attitude is what got it done.”
It was the first-ever start in a World Cup qualifier for Evans, a midfielder for Seattle who started the match at right back for Klinsmann’s US squad. The win was the first in Jamaica in World Cup qualifiers after going 0-1-4 in their previous five meetings there.
“There’s still work to be done, but three points on the road in a place you haven’t won is pretty special,” Evans said.
The US will host Panama on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Field in the next match of the Hexagonal Round.
-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: June 7, 2013
Competition: FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying
Venue: National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica
Kickoff: 9:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 88 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
JAM 0 1 1
USA – Jozy Altidore (Graham Zusi) 30th minute
JAM – Jermaine Beckford (Rodolph Austin) 89
USA – Brad Evans (Michael Bradley) 90+2
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Brad Evans 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 13-Jermaine Jones (20-Geoff Cameron, 59), 4-Michael Bradley; 19-Graham Zusi, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson (2-Edgar Castillo, 76); 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Eddie Johnson, 83)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Brad Guzan, 9-Terrence Boyd , 10-Joe Corona, 11-Stuart Holden, 14- Brad Davis, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 22-Clarence Goodson
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
JAM: 1-Donovan Ricketts (capt.); 2-Daniel Gordon, 19-Adrian Mariappa, 5-Alvas Powell, 3-O'Brian Woodbine; 4-Marvin Elliott, 17-Rodolph Austin, 18-Jermaine Hue (7-Jermaine Beckford, 70), 22-Garath McCleary (16-Omar Daley, 75); 8-Jermaine Johnson (14-Theo Robinson, 68), 9-Ryan Johnson
Substitutions Not Used : 23-Andre Blake, 13-Dwayne Miller, 6-Montrose Phinn, 10-Keammar Daley, 11-Darren Mattocks, 12-Evan Taylor, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson, 20-Jeremie Lynch, 21- Damien Williams
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 10
Offside: 5 / 1
USA – Graham Zusi (caution) 88th minute
USA – Brad Evans (caution) 90+2
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Mojica (NIC)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Fourth Official: Jhon Pitti (PAN)
Box score and video via USSoccer.com.