In the 88th minute, Matt Miazga scored the group clinching goal to send the USMNT to the top of the group. Bruce Arena's team accomplished that goal, defeating Nicaragua 3-0 in Cleveland. "We told the players we had to win by three goals".
It hasn't always been easy, eye-pleasing, or all that fun, but the USA men's national team found a way to get the result it needed against Nicaragua on Saturday to top its group in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. On the other hand, Nicaragua placed at the last place in the group will hope to advance as one of the two best third-placed teams with a victory. Costa Rica has been the top team in the Cup, looking sharp for most of its first three matches, even with injuries.
Martinique scored two goals in a span of eight minutes to square things 2-2 against the United States before Jordan Morris was able to bail the Americans out with the game-winning score in the 76th minute.
However, Dwyer's left-footed penalty was saved by Nicaraguan keeper Justo Lorente, keeping Dwyer from becoming the third player in USMNT history to score a goal in each of his first three caps with the team.
It appeared as if it was all written to perfection when Bedoya forced Nicaragua's Juan Barrera into a clear handle of the ball on a slide inside the area just five minutes after Rowe had put his name up in lights.
Rowe was played through by Bedoya and the New England Revolution man beat Lorente at his near post for his first worldwide goal. The shot was at a good height, came in at a good pace, and was too far inside the post to cause him any trouble. "As much as I would have loved to stay, we're welcoming a new life". Arena got just what he wanted.
It was a match the U.S. expected to win easily, but their opponents didn't make it so.
Each team is allowed to make up to six changes in the 24 hours after finishing the group stage, and the additions must come from the 40-man preliminary roster submitted in early June. The USA has not lifted a Gold Cup since 2013 but that might change now that they have passed through to the next phase of the tournament.
The U.S. players added include Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard, Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe, Toronto forward Jozy Altidore and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey.
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