SEPTEMBER 11: Herculez Gomez #9 of the U.S. National Team scores on a fee kick against Jamaica in the second half on September 11, 2012 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The United States men's national team avenged its defeat to Jamaica last week with a 1-0 win at Crew Stadium on Tuesday thanks to a second-half free kick from Hercules Gomez.
Jamaica claimed its first-ever win against the Americans on Friday with a 2-1 result in Kingston to climb to the summit of its CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group with seven points.
But Gomez's goal in the 55th minute of the replay saw the Americans go level with the Jamaicans, along with Guatemala after its 1-0 defeat of Antigua and Barbuda earlier on Tuesday, with seven points apiece. Guatemala and the United States hold the edge over Jamaica with a superior goal differential.
The United States dominated the opening period but hit the woodwork three times to head into the halftime break empty-handed.
Graham Zusi nearly put the Americans in front after just five minutes when he blasted a shot from the corner of the box, but his powerful effort skimmed the crossbar and went out for a throw-in.
Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Miller was heroic in the 20th minute when a deflected shot from a Steve Cherundolo cross was pushed onto the post, allowing the visitors to clear their lines.
Danny Williams came within inches of breaking the deadlock with a stunning strike in the 30th minute, but his attempt struck the inside of the left post from 25 yards out.
Failing to score despite controlling the match placed additional pressure on the United States, but it took them less than 10 second-half minutes to grab the lead.
Clint Dempsey was fouled just outside the penalty area by Rodolph Austin, and Gomez produced a brilliant effort from the ensuing attempt, curling a shot around the wall and just inside the post. Miller got a hand to the shot but was unable to keep it out.
The United States grew complacent with the one-goal advantage, making for some nervous moments down the stretch, but the home nation was able to close out the match with a clean sheet to get its qualifying campaign back on track.
World Cup qualifying resumes on October 12 with the United States heading to Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica traveling to Guatemala.
The Sports Network