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September 11, 2012
Herculez goal lifts USA over Jamaica in WCQ, 1-0

Herculez Gomez game the United States a lift over Jamaica, scoring thevonly goal
Herculez Gomez game the United States a lift over Jamaica, scoring thevonly goal
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Desperately needing a victory to boost its standing in CONCACAF Group A and its confidence, the United States recorded a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Jamaica on Tuesday night.

Striker Herculez Gomez converted a free kick in the 55th minute, which turned into the only goal in the encounter at Columbus Crew Stadium.

The victory lifted the Americans (2-1-1, seven points) into the group lead with Guatemala (2-1-1). Third-place Jamaica (2-1-1) trails by goal difference.

The Guatemalans recorded a 1-0 triumph at last place Antigua and Barbuda (0-3-1, one).

After the hosts dominated the first half, Gomez broke the ice with a goal off a free kick 10 minutes into the second half at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Rodolph Austin, one of Jamaica's heroes in its win, committed a rather ill-advised foul on Clint Dempsey some 28 yards out. Gomez curled a right-footed shot toward the upper right corner. Goalkeeper Dwayne Miller got a hand on the ball, but deflected it into the net for Gomez's fifth international goal and second in this qualifying campaign.

After its Friday night loss, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann made five changes to his starting lineup,

Klinsmann brought in defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson and midfielders Graham Zusi and Jose Torres and sat down defenders Clarence Goodson, serving a yellow-card suspension, Michael Parkhurst and midfielders Maurice Edu and Kyle Beckerman and forward Jozy Altidore.

The U.S. did everything but score in the opening 45 minutes. They Americans enjoyed an almost 80 percentage possession advantage as Miller made several key stops and was aided by the the woodwork as well to keep the game scoreless.

In fact, the Reggae Boyz were content on playing for a scoreless draw as they had as many as all 11 players behind the ball.

In the sixth minute, Zusi, off a Steve Cherundolo pass, ripped a shot from the right side off the crossbar. Miller was up to the task in the 20th minute, as he deflected Cherundolo's cross off the right post.

Midfielder Jermaine Jones fired a shot from distance in the 30th minute that bounded off the left post.

The Reggae Bozy did not threaten many times. They took their first corner kick in the 28th minute, but it was cleared by the defense. Austin tried for the equalizer in the 81st minute but U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard saved his attempt.

The USA will complete the semifinal round at Antigua on Oct. 12 before hosting Guatemala at home four days later.

Jamaica will visit Guatemala on Oct. 12 and host Antigua on Oct. 12.

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