|Jamaica Vs. USA: Luton Shelton Wins It For Reggae Boyz|
When Clint Dempsey scored for the United States after 36 seconds on Friday night, they appeared to be well on their way to a simple victory Jamaica.
Instead, what ensued over the next 89 minutes was one of the worst performances by the United States in recent memory, and almost certainly their worst performance under Jurgen Klinsmann. Two ill-advised tackles led to two free kick goals for Jamaica, and the Reggae Boyz walked away from the match as 2-1 winners.
Some fantastic work from Herculez Gomez set up the opening goal. His persistence on a run down the wing, then two shot attempts eventually led to the ball falling to Dempsey after a blocked shot. He made no mistake with his chance and gave the United States a shocking first minute lead.
A foul by Kyle Beckerman set up a free kick goal by Rodolph Austin in the 23rd minute, and Beckerman was complicit in the actual finish as well as giving away the free kick. He jumped on Austin's free kick, which turned out to be a poor decision. The ball went partially under him and took a deflection off his leg, fooling Tim Howard before it struck the net.
The United States looked lifeless for the rest of the first half and didn't look any better to start the second half. Jamaica looked like the much better side for the entirety of the final 45 minutes and continuously put pressure on the Yanks, who had no answer. When they did get time on the ball, they lacked ideas to get the ball into the final third.
Tim Howard experienced a bit of a scary moment in the second half when he collided by Luton Shelton. Thankfuklly, he was okay, but he spent a bit of time on the ground after this nasty clash.
Though Howard got up and recovered, he wouldn't be any help to the United States on Jamaica's winner, not that it was his fault. Maurice Edu gave Jamaica the free kick opportunity with a silly foul and Luton Shelton capitalized, hitting a stellar free kick past Howard that was practically unsaveable.
The United States brought Brek Shea and Terrence Boyd into the game in an attempt to find an equalizer, but never really came close. It was a poor performance throughout from Klinsmann's men, and Jamaica come away from the match as deserved winners.
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