Mor­ris nets sixth ti­tle for team

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Janie Mc­Cauley

SANTA CLARA, CALIF.» Jor­dan Mor­ris scored a tiebreak­ing goal in the 88th minute, and the United States beat Ja­maica 2-1 on Wed­nes­day night for its sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup ti­tle and first since 2013.

Jozy Alti­dore’s goal on a 28-yard free kick in the 45th minute beat backup goal­keeper Dwayne Miller af­ter Ja­maica cap­tain An­dre Blake left early with a hand in­jury.

Je-Vaughn Wat­son tied the score when he got away from Mor­ris for a 4-yard vol­ley off Ke­mar Lawrence’s 50th-minute cor­ner kick.

Mor­ris, a star at nearby Stan­ford from 2013-15, got the break­through goal with a 14-yard right­footed shot af­ter Gyasi Zardes crossed. Jer­maine Tay­lor tried to clear with a header and the ball was knocked by Clint Dempsey with a leg back to Mor­ris. It was the fifth in­ter­na­tional goal for the 22-year-old Mor­ris, who tied 16year-old Cana­dian Alphonso Davies for the tour­na­ment lead with three goals.

“I was ner­vous. It was my guy that scored on the goal, so I was try­ing to make up for it any way that I could,” Mor­ris said. “Ob­vi­ously. I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that. But luck­ily I could put one in the back of the net.”

The U.S. ex­tended its un­beaten streak to 14 games (9-0-5) un­der Bruce Arena, who be­came the first coach to win three Gold Cup ti­tles.

U.S. cap­tain Michael Bradley earned the Golden Ball at the tour­na­ment’s top player.

The Amer­i­cans had a chance in the 19th minute when Alti­dore’s swerv­ing 30-yard shot was par­ried by Blake, who dived left and then beat Kel­lyn Acosta to the re­bound at the 6-yard box. Acosta col­lided with Blake and ap­peared to kick the keeper’s right hand be­fore Ja­maica’s Damion Lowe cleared. Blake’s hand was wrapped but he couldn’t con­tinue and was re­placed by Miller four min­utes later. As Blake left the field, he ac­knowl­edged the cheer­ing fans with a wave of his left hand, then later emerged for the medal cer­e­mony with his hand ban­daged.

Alti­dore put the U.S. ahead with a curl­ing shot past Miller’s out­stretched right hand into the up­per cor­ner of the net just be­neath the cross­bar, his 39th goal in 108 ap­pear­ances.

Lawrence, who scored in a 1-0 semi­fi­nal win Sun­day against Mex­ico, took an­other cor­ner kick in the 75th minute mo­ments af­ter Al­vas Pow­ell’s shot from close range de­flected off Gra­ham Zusi — a se­quence that had Tim Howard yelling at the de­fense.

Us­ing a lineup with about half its reg­u­lar starters — the rest are in pre­sea­son with Euro­pean clubs — the U.S. reached its record 10th fi­nal. The Reg­gae Boyz were a sur­pris­ing fi­nal op­po­nent af­ter they stunned Mex­ico in a semi­fi­nal Sun­day to reach the ti­tle match for a se­cond straight time.

With 18 of 22 starters from Ma­jor League Soccer, this was a re­match of the 2015 Gold Cup semi­fi­nal won 2-1 by Ja­maica at Atlanta. For the first time since re­plac­ing Jur­gen Klins­mann in Novem­ber, Arena kept his lineup un­changed. He in­serted the 34-year-old Dempsey in the 55th minute.

Ezra Shaw, Getty Im­ages

The United States’ Jor­dan Mor­ris, right, cel­e­brates his late, game-win­ning goal against Ja­maica on Wed­nes­day night.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.