Late heroics grant the US a spot in the semifinals

Arlington, TX- The United States and Jamaican national teams faced each other for the last spot in the semifinal round.

Jamaica quickly was a threat within the first seconds of the match and nearly scoring the opener. Both teams had opportunities throughout the game, but the US had to find their way into the game against a solid Jamaican defense.

Berhalter’s players quickly sought out opportunities to get ahead but were unable to do so. Jamaica also had their fair share of chances to score and perhaps were closer to succeeding more than the US.

The first half ended in a scoreless draw, and both teams needed to react more if they wanted to go ahead. Both teams pressured each other and did not concede any spaces for the opponent to make a threatening situation.

The US was attacking more, but Belhalter had to make substitutions for his system to work and beat the Jamaican defense.

Colorado Rapids’ Kellyn Acosta had a good game today by controlling the midfield well and hardly making any mistakes. Acosta was able to get some critical passes on goal for the US but, unfortunately, was not enough to break the deadlock. He was able to cover a lot of ground while recovering many balls in the midfield.

When the match seemed to go into a possible extra time, 20-year-old Matthew Hoppe took advantage of a ball set up high from Roldan and put his header past Andre Blake.

“It was great to see him score,” said US head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Hoppe’s was his first-ever goal with the US National Team, and what a moment to score your first goal to qualify your side to the semifinals of an international tournament.

“We always want to get better,” said Berhalter .”It’s about embracing the game, we stayed calm.”

The US now will travel to Austin, TX, where they’ll face the guests and surprise of the tournament, Qatar. This game will define who will be at Allegiant Stadium on August 1 against the winner of Mexico versus Canada.

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