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USA ‘Hoppes’ to the Gold Cup semifinal with 1-0 win against Jamaica

Crew striker Gyasi Zardes played the last 30 minutes in the quarterfinal match for the Americans.

United States v Jamaica: Quarterfinals - 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National avanced to the Gold Cup semifinal on Sunday night. Matthew Hoppe’s 83rd minute goal was enough for a 1-0 win aganst Jamaica in the quarterfinal match at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The victory is the fourth straight for the USMNT and sets up a semifinal match in Austin, Texas with Asian champions Qatar.

It was a nervy start for the U.S. who almost conceded after 10 seconds as both the Americans and Jamaicans tried to adjust to the field at AT&T Stadium. The pitch caused some slipping, missed passes and made clean dribbles harder for both sides, including by both U.S. center backs Miles Robinson and James Sands in the opening minutee.

The aggressiveness was present from both teams in the first half with Jamaica not holding back on bringing numbers forward and looking to press the Americans and win the ball back to counter attack. The United States had the first really good scoring chance with Hoppe getting a half-volley shot that was saved by Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake in the 22nd minute.

Jamaica’s best chance came in the 39th minute when midfielder Junior Flemmings unleashing a shot from 22 yards out. Flemmings tried to curl the into the far post, which forced U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner into an acrobatic stretch save. The Reggae Boyz closed out the first half with the momentum despite the 0-0 scoreline.

The Jamaicans carried their momentum into the start of the second half with energy. Turner continued to stop shots as he was called upon for plenty of save opportunities. Columbus Crew striker Gyasi Zardes came off the bench after an hour and replaced Daryl Dike as the USMNT pushed for the first goal. Zardes instantly tried to impact the contest and get that first goal with a powerful shot from 19 yards out that was saved by Blake.

Both teams continued to push offensively but the play of Blake and Turner in goal was simply fantastic. The goalkeepers combined for nine saves after facing a smattering of shots, 21 in total between the Americans and Jamaicans.

The breakthrough finally came for the United States in the 83rd minute. Substitute Cristian Roldan sent a cross to the back post where Schalke 04 forward Hoppe flew in the air and connected with the header for the winner. Blake’s lone mistake of the match came on the goal as he came off his line and couldn’t get a hand on the ball and Hoppe scored with his final touch of the match, as he was replaced immediately following the goal.

Once again, the U.S. is in the Gold Cup semifinal, extending its streak to 11 consecutive appearances at this stage in CONCACAF’s biggest international competition. The Stars and Stripes haven’t won the Gold Cup since 2017 and ride a four-game win streak into Thursday’s semifinal.

The Americans will host Qatar in the semifinal on Thursday at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. Qatar was invited to the Gold Cup as a guest and is the reigning Asian Cup champion. The other semifinal will be in Houston between Mexico and Canada as they compile a final four in CONCACAF with the three North American countries and one from the Middle East.