After a couple of lackluster performances, the United States finally resembled the team that everyone thought they would be, convincingly defeating Jamaica 2-0 in the Gold Cup quarterfinals to advance to Wednesday's semifinals, where they will take on the winner of the game between Panama and El Salvador. Jermaine Jones scored the opening goal, which would also be the eventual winner, while Clint Dempsey added an insurance goal late in the match.
The first half was more or less dominated by the United States, who were allowed to keep possession without being contested very much. Jamaica created a couple of great chances on the counter-attack, but both of their best scoring opportunities were completely squandered by Luton Shelton, who had a very poor game. From the run of play, Jamaica did almost nothing.
Jozy Altidore had to come out of the game in the 9th minute due to a hamstring injury, which has been tentatively diagnosed as a hamstring strain, seemingly leaving the USMNT with some problems. Juan Agudelo, a different kind of striker, was the man who entered the game, but the team saw no drop-off with him playing instead of Altidore.
The United States took the lead early in the second half, thanks to a shot by Jermaine Jones. The Reggae Boyz left him a considerable amount of space in midfield and Jones took advantage by ripping a shot from the outside of the box. His shot deflected off a defender before going in, giving Donovan Ricketts no chance to make a save, and the United States went up 1-0.
Jamaica's hopes at coming back ended with two separate events between the 65th and 70th minutes. In that five minute period, the USMNT brought Landon Donovan off the bench and Jamaica's Jermaine Taylor was sent off for denying Jermaine Jones a clear goal scoring opportunity, despite the fact that he did not contact Jones, who took a very obvious dive. With the Reggae Boyz down to 10 men and Landon Donovan on the field, the game was as good as over.
Clint Dempsey sealed Jamaica's fate in the 85th minute, scoring a skillful close-range goal. After surging down the right flank with the ball, Juan Agudelo put an impressive cross into the box, through the legs of his defender and in towards Dempsey. The attacking midfielder took a great touch to beat Ricketts, then tapped the ball into the back of the net, putting the United States ahead by 2-0.
Their opponent has not yet been determined, but the USMNT is probably licking their chops at the prospect of getting a revenge game against Panama, who defeated them earlier in the tournament. The other semifinal will be contested by Mexico and Honduras.