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CONCACAF Under-20 Championship: Jamaica 0, United States 2

CONCACAF Under-20 Championship: Jamaica 0, United States 2

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 19, 2015

The Young Nats took an important step towards qualification for the 2015 U-20 World Cup, topping Jamaica 2-0 to stay on track for a berth in the final stage of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

Columbus Crew SC midfielder Romain Gall, one of the best players on the evening, converted penalty kicks on either side of halftime and the US defense put in a strong shift to top the host nation.

The US saw plenty more of the ball than their Jamaican counterparts and threatened early through Emerson Hyndman, who sent his side-foot shot high and wide in the 15th minute off a feed from Ben Spencer.

In the 31st minute, Gall found a streaking Tommy Thompson with a diagonal through ball, only for the San Jose Earthquakes forward to go down under a shove from Allando Brown as he was about to pull the trigger. Brown got away with a yellow card, and Gall punished the Reggae Boyz by sending Jamaica 'keeper Nicholas Nelson the wrong way for the opener.

The US continued to pour forward but were denied repeatedly by Nelson as the first half came to a close. The second period began with Jamaica's best period of sustained pressure, but the hosts still failed to seriously test Zack Steffen in the US goal.

The tables turned decisively in the 67th minute when LA Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV latched onto a poor backpass from Jamaican defender Malcolm Stewart and lifted it past Nelson, only to be taken down by the Jamaican 'keeper, resulting in a penalty kick and another yellow card. Gall went the other way with his second penalty and fooled Nelson again, giving the US a two-goal cushion with 20 minutes to play.

With Jamaica's hopes of success on home soil all but dashed, things got physical as the clock ticked away. Substitute Daniel Roberts saw a red card for a high tackle on Lynden Gooch in the 84th minute, while Thompson and Jamaica's Shaquille Dyer both saw yellow after a minor fracas in the Jamaica area.

Head coach Tab Ramos and his charges will conclude Group A play on Weds., Jan. 21 against Trinidad & Tobago (5:30 pm ET, Fox Sports 2). Only a draw is needed to secure second or third place and a spot in the playoff for a World Cup berth, but a win could help the USA's seeding and even lift them above Guatemala, should Los Chapines fall in their finale against Panama.

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