In a game of three distinct segments, the United States got the result they needed in Columbus, even if they made their fans sweat through the end of the match. A dominant first half didn't produce any goals, but Herculez Gomez became his country's hero with a great free kick goal in the second half. The United States continued to play well immediately afterwards, but nearly threw the game away late.
The final 20 minutes were nervy ones for U.S. supporters, as Jurgen Klinsmann's substitutes failed to keep possession. Jamaica couldn't create clear chances, however, and the United States defense did their part to hold onto a 1-0 victory.
Klinsmann's men started strong in the opening minutes, but it took them until 20 minutes into the match to truly assert their dominance. Steve Cherundolo had a shot deflected, then barely saved onto the post by Dwayne Miller in the 20th minute. One minute later, Miller came up big again to deny Graham Zusi from close range.
Danny Williams struck the post in the 30th minute with a wicked long-range effort that beat Miller, but just missed sneaking inside the net by inches. At that point, it looked like luck just might not be on the side of the Americans. Miller was brilliant in the first half, while the USMNT hit the post three times.
In the 55th minute, Jamaica's luck run out and Miller finally made a mistake. Gomez placed a great direct free kick at the near post, but Miller did manage to get across and get his hands to it. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep the ball out and failed to make what was his easiest save of the night up to that point as the ball went between his hands and into the back of the net.
The next 15 minutes went well for the United States, but as Klinsmann made substitutions and players got tired, their play became sloppy. Brek Shea was the first substitute, entering the match for Jose Torres. Maurice Edu and Jozy Altidore also came in, replacing Zusi and Gomez. The latter two players looked a bit rusty and gave the ball away routinely, while Clint Dempsey looked absolutely gassed and also gave the ball away regularly.
Those questionable substitution choices and the Americans' fatigue led to a number of nervy moments at the end of the match, but Tim Howard and the American back four were up to the task, preventing Jamaica from turning any of the midfield's giveaways into scoring opportunities. For all the nervous moments for the USMNT at the end, Jamaica never really looked like scoring, and the United States held onto their 1-0 win comfortably.