The United States men’s national team made it four of six points from the international break, burnishing its World Cup stock with a 1-1 draw against Jamaica on Tuesday in Kingston.
They’ll take it.
Timothy Weah’s acute finish put the Yanks ahead 1-0 only for Michail Antonio’s vicious goal from 34 yards to leave the match level at halftime.
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A dodgy pitch and officiating that apparently required X-ray worthy fouls for a whistle to be considered left this match ugly despite the two fantastic goals.
Gregg Berhalter’s Americans open the door for either Mexico or Canada to pass them for first on the table with a win later in Edmonton, but their 15 points will find them in an automatic qualifying spot until at least January.
Jamaica’s fourth draw leaves it with seven points through eight matches. The Reggae Boyz will finish at least four points out of the playoff spot.
Jamaica vs USMNT final score, stats
Final score: Jamaica 1, USMNT 1
Scorers: Weah (11′), Antonio (22′)
Shot attempts: USMNT, 9-6
Shots on goal: 2-2
Possession: USMNT, 62%
Three things we learned from Jamaica vs USMNT
1. The F in CONCACAF is for Foul: The past few qualifiers have seen CONCACAF nations targeting Christian Pulisic with contact after contact, much of it the illegal variety, and Jamaica made sure to foul just about everyone in a U.S. shirt. Pulisic was on the bench to start but Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson were targeted and sent airborne on multiple occasions.
2. Jamaica finding itself: The USMNT may end up grateful to have played Jamaica twice in the first eight qualifiers because Michail Antonio and Leon Bailey are just finding their footing and each other in the Reggae Boyz shirt. Antonio, of course, scored a vicious goal from 34 yards, and Bailey was a first-half menace to the USMNT. The Reggae Boyz may have drawn too many matches already, but should only get better as long as Antonio and Bailey keep showing up.
3. Lack of VAR benefits USMNT? The joke that is CONCACAF not helping every Octagonal nation have access to VAR may have actually helped the United States, as Jamaica had the ball in the goal late only to see Walker Zimmerman adjudged to have been fouled by the scorer. Replays showed that the play was close enough that a video reviewer might have awarded the goal.
Foul or no? 🤔
Jamaica's breakthrough goal was disallowed for the foul on Walker Zimmerman ❌ pic.twitter.com/VqJ9bHTBDY
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 16, 2021
Man of the Match: Liam Moore
The Reading center back was a handful for the Yanks, with three clearances, a blocked shot, two interceptions, and a tackle helping Jamaica limit true danger from the Americans.
Jamaica vs USMNT recap
The subpar pitch conditions were on display early as both teams fought odds bounces and worse footing, and Weah showed confidence when he put the Yanks ahead despite the territory.
Weah worked a 1-2 with Ricardo Pepi, who had worked back toward the ball from inside the 18, and worked his defender before spinning a shot past Andre Blake, off the far post, and over the line.
2-0 was a distinct possibility when Andre Blake robbed Brenden Aaronson after the Reggae Boyz defenders blocked a Ricardo Pepi chance.
Jamaica leveled the score before the break when Antonio buried a shot from 34 yards after being given a glimmer of light from an aggressive backtracking Tyler Adams.
Gianluca Busio looked very good for the Yanks in the early stages of the second half and curled a shot just over the bar in the 52nd minute.
Bobby Decordova-Reid should’ve had it 2-1 to the visitors when Antonee Robinson cut out a cross onto the path of the Fulham man, who missed badly over the goal from the edge of the six.
Christian Pulisic entered for the final 24 minutes and was fouled twice, drawing a free kick, but was otherwise fairly well-handled by the Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica had the ball in the goal in the 84th minute but it was a fairly-clear foul on Walker Zimmerman that allowed the Reggae Boyz’ would-be goal.