Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

United States wins Gold Cup group

United States wins Gold Cup group

The U.S. men's national soccer team's 2017 Gold Cup run hasn't gotten off to an ideal start.

The Americans (2-0-1) finished tied with Panama (2-0-1) in points and goal differential but ahead on total goals (7-6) in the 12-team regional competition.

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Heading into the match, the U.S. MNT needed to win by three or more goals to take first place in the group and avoid a quarterfinal matchup with Costa Rica. They will face the third-place team from Group A or C on Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

A hand ball in the Nicaragua penalty area five minutes later gave Corona a chance to score his second of the game and give the US the margin it would need to win the group. Due to their scoring seven goals in group play to Panama's six, the USMNT gets the top spot in Group B.

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The Americans applied early pressure but didn't sustain rhythm, struggled to connect passes and let the tempo drop. Graham Zusi found the captain Alejandro Bedoya on the right flank. The goal scored in Wednesday's game against Panama was the first in Gold Cup history for the company, 26 years after the tournament was founded.

Arroyo doubled the advantage in the 60th minute, collecting a carom off a corner kick and depositing a left-footed shot that deflected into the net. The New England Revolution midfielder made no mistake, beating Lorente to the near post. Jordan Morris played the hero, though, as he came through with the game-winner in the 75th minute.

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Luis Copete received his second yellow card in the 85th minute, leaving Nicaragua with 10 men. With it looking like the U.S. might end up finishing second in group play to Panama on goal difference, Miazga scored on a header from a free kick in the 88th minute to grab hold of the group and ensure the USMNT finished on top.

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