Matthew Hoppe was just seconds away from being substituted when Cristian Roldan struck a floating cross to the back-post that brought with it a chance to decide a tightly-contested Gold Cup quarterfinal.
Having been denied by Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake on multiple occasions, Hoppe made sure his last chance wouldn’t be wasted, heading home Roldan’s cross for the lone goal in a hard-fought 1-0 win for the U.S. men’s national team over Jamaica on Sunday night.
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On a night when the U.S. attack struggled to find a way past Blake, it was the American defense delivering another strong outing, as Miles Robinson and James Sands led the backline while Matt Turner made five saves to record his third shutout in four Gold Cup matches.
The Americans found themselves locked in a hard-fought battle in the first half, with the Jamaicans bullying the USMNT, which started slowly as the young lineup deployed by Berhalter struggled to get a hold of the game.
The Americans showed more composure in the second half and slowly began taking control of the match, but the goal still didn’t come, in part because of impact made by second-half substitutes Gyasi Zardes and Cristian Roldan, who helped boost the attack when they came in for Daryl Dike and Paul Arriola, two players who struggled to make their mark on the match.
It was Roldan who helped deliver the winner when he floated a cross from the right wing to the back-post, where Zardes and Hoppe crashed into the penalty area, With Zardes attracting attention from Blake, it cleared the way for Hoppe to deliver a free header for the winner.
The Americans will now take on Qatar in the Gold Cup semifinals on Thursday in Austin, Texas.