Jamaica shocks the US to go to Gold Cup Final

Published Wednesday, July 22, 2015 8:57 PM by Shane Barrow

The Jamaicans gave just as good as they got in the opening twenty minutes of play matching the US blow for blow and denying any thoughts of a fast start from the home side.  The American talent would start to win out though as the next few minutes saw the US men create a number of chances.

The best chance actually came from a Jamaica mistake as goalkeeper Thompson allowed Aron Johannsen to get on him with the ball at his feet.  Thompson panicked and tried to cut back rather than clear the ball and allowed Johannsen to poke the ball away at the empty net.  Luckily for Jamaica the ball rolled just outside the post for a goal kick.

Then suddenly the match would turn on its head as Jamaica shockingly scored twice in a short span.  The first goal came straight from the rec fields as the Americans failed to deal with a long throw in into the middle of the box.  While all the US defenders failed to react as Jamaica's Darren Mattocks headed the ball off the post and into the net.  Ridiculous to give up that kind of goal at this level.

Only a minute later and a Brad Guzan mistake gave Jamaica a dangerous free kick just outside the U.S. eighteen.  Giles Barnes calmly curled the free kick just over the American wall and past Guzan.  2-0 in the blink of an eye.

Jurgen Klinsmann inspired the boys at halftime and within a couple of minutes the United States pulled a goal back.  Aron Johannsen turned and fired from the 18.  Jamaican keeper v v was up to the task and made the initial save. Clint Dempsey was crashing to the net where he contested Thompson for the loose ball that squirted perfectly for Michael Bradley to put home.

All the energy was on the side of the Americans as Dempsey forced a sprawling vv save just a minute later.  Plenty of time for the US to complete the fight back.  A great counter led to another chance for the Americans in the 55th minute as Bradley ripped a shot from 25 yards that hit Thompson square in the chest and came back off the post.  More adventure goalkeeping from Jamaica.

The US was piling on the pressure.  Jamaica withstood a similar onslaught from Haiti in the quarters, but the Americans are a whole different quality.  It would be a monumental task for Jamaica to ride this one out 2-1.

Credit to Jamaica though as they settled in and kept some possession over the next twenty minutes and with fifteen minutes to play the Gold Cup Final was within their sights.  But that was when the Americans began piling on the pressure.  Substitute Alan Gordon was lurking in front of goal just waiting for his opportunity.

That opportunity would never come as Jamaica saw out the 2-1 upset. In the end the US could not overcome the five minute stretch in the first half when they gave up both goals.  Hopefully this is the last time we have to see a soccer game at the Georgia Dome.  Crummy field. Crummy atmosphere.