In the final game of Group B action at the 2017 Gold Cup, the USA men's national team put together a much-improved performance in a 3-0 victory over Nicaragua. Panama's 3-0 shutout of Martinique in the early game meant the USMNT started knowing they would need the three points and three goals to take 1st-place. They will face the third-place team from Group A or C on Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Panama and the USMNT were tied in goal differential after two matches, but the US had the lead because of a goals-scored tiebreaker.More news: France steps in to resolve Gulf crisis
Coach Bruce Arena had planned all along to use nearly everyone on the 23-man roster in the group stage, and in the last match, he swapped out every starter from Wednesday's anxious performance against Martinique. Matt Miazga headed in the USMNT's third goal. His low effort from 15 yards struck the hand of a sliding foe, Bismarck Veliz, and skidded into the left corner for his first goal since the 2013 Gold Cup against El Salvador. The USMNT had a chance to double the lead from the penalty spot in the 51st but Dom Dwyer saw his attempt saved.
Five minutes later, the Americans made no mistakes.More news: JC Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)
The U.S. quickly atoned for the penalty miss when Kelyn Rowe scored his first global goal, in the 56th minute, from a lovely shot with the outside of his right foot, that took a deflection and slipped inside the near post for a 2-0 lead. Jordan Morris played the hero, though, as he came through with the game-winner in the 75th minute.
After Copete picked up a second yellow card in the 85th minute, Zusi drifted in a delightful set-piece for Miazga to head in at the back post for what was a crucial goal for United States. With it looking like the U.S. might end up finishing second in group play to Panama on goal difference, Miazga scored on a header from a free kick in the 88th minute to grab hold of the group and ensure the USMNT finished on top.More news: Olympic gold medalist fails drug test due to kissing girlfriend
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