Posted October 11, 2013 on AP on Fox
Jozy_altidore_portrait_de09
Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored second-half goals to give the United States a 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday night and clinch first place for the Americans in their World Cup qualifying group for the third straight cycle. The sides had played to a stalemate through the first 77 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on the wing. He crossed to Zusi, whose shot from about 12 yards beat goalkeeper DuWayne Kerr and ignited his home-team crowd of 18,467 decked out in red, white and blue. Fans packed into Sporting Park had barely settled back down before Edgar Castillo, like Zusi a second-half substitute, found Altidore in front of an open net for another goal in the 81st minute. Altidore scored for his sixth straight international start. The U.S. (6-2-1), which clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth last month, has 19 points in North and Central American and Caribbean qualifying and a four-point lead over second-place Costa Rica (4-2-3), which lost 1-0 at third-place Honduras (4-3-2). Jamaica (0-5-4), whose only World Cup appearance was in 1998, was eliminated. Zusi, who stars for Sporting KC, had entered at the start of the second half for Landon Donovan and was cheered wildly by his home fans. He returned the passion after he scored his second international goal, pumping his fist and celebrating with his teammates. Altidore extended his own team record by scoring in his sixth straight games. The goal was his eighth of the year and his fourth in World Cup qualifiers. It was another bitter defeat to the U.S. for Jamaica, which lost 2-1 on June 7 in Kingston when Brad Evans scored in second-half stoppage time. The Reggae Boyz fell to 1-13-8 against the U.S., including 1-5-6 in qualifiers. Still alive at the onset - at least mathematically - Jamaica pressed the attack in the opening minutes, dominating possession and pestering goalkeeper Tim Howard. Demar Phillips sent a free kick toward the goal that Howard got his mitts on, and Evans managed to clear it just before Darren Mattocks could get his foot on it in front of an open goal. Jamaica had precious few decent scoring looks the rest of the night. The U.S. won despite missing several key players due to injuries. Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson were unavailable, Omar Gonzalez sustained a hip strain just before he was due to join the national team, and forward Eddie Johnson strained his left groin in training Wednesday. That gave coach Jurgen Klinsmann a chance to give several younger players a look, including Aron Johannsson, who played for Iceland's under-21 team and made his U.S. debut in August. Evans was back after missing the Mexico match with a strained calf muscle, and Altidore, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron were back after serving suspensions for yellow-card accumulation. NOTES: The U.S. finished 8-0 in home qualifiers this cycle, outscoring opponents 8-0 on American soil in the hexagonal. The Americans are 25-0-2 in home qualifiers since a 2001 loss to Honduras.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Zusi, Altidore lift US to 2-0 victory over Jamaica in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored second-half goals to give the United States a 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday night and clinch first place for the Americans in their World Cup qualifying group for the third straight cycle. The sides had played to a stalemate through the first 77 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on the wing. He crossed to...

USA win seals Hexagonal top spot

Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored second-half goals to give the United States men's national team a 2-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday night and clinch first place for the Americans in their World Cup qualifying group for the third straight cycle. The sides had played to a stalemate through the first 77 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on the wing. He crossed...

Johansson gets 1st US start against Jamaica

Aron Johannsson was given his first international start for the United States in a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on Friday night. With the U.S. already assured of its seventh straight World Cup berth, coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed six starters from last month's clinching 2-0 win over Mexico. Brad Evans was at right back, joined by Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler in central...

USA understudies fail to make case

If the point of the United States men's national team World Cup qualifier against Jamaica was ultimately to retain the winning momentum towards next summer's bonanza in Brazil, with the Americans having already secured their berth there, it was just as well that they achieved it with their 2-0 win in Kansas City on Friday. Because they had little else to show for a game that...

USA 2-0 Jamaica: World Cup Qualifier Match Highlights

The US Men’s National Team made a lot of hard work out of their 2-0 victory against Jamaica on Friday night in the World Cup qualifier match in front of a boisterous home support at Sporting Kansas City’s stadium. With the USA having already qualified, it was an opportunity for the men’s national team players to fight for their positions and to prove to USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann...

Yanks Score Late, Win Hex Stage

For the third consecutive time, the USMNT officially took the top spot in the hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying, thanks to goals from Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore against Jamaica.  In a match where the US was outplayed at least defensively, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side were able to flip a switch in the final third of the match, picking up two quick goals in the last 13 minutes...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.