January 18, 2015
MAKING THEM PAY THE PENALTY
Gall's PKs lead USA over Jamaica in CONCACAF U-20
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The United States kept its hopes of reaching the FIFA Under-20 World Cup alive by registering a 2-0 Group A win over host Jamaica in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships on Sunday night.
The result lifted the Americans to a 2-1-1 record and seven points, good for third place behind leader Panama (4-0-0, 12) and second-place Guatemala (3-1-0, 10). Jamaica dropped to 0-1-3 and one point.
Romain Gall, who struck for a hat-trick in an 8-0 victory over Aruba, converted penalty kicks on either side of halftime, his first one in the 33rd minute and the second in the 70th minute at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
The Jamaicans played the final six minutes a man down after Daniel Roberts was awarded a red card for a hard foul on Russell Canouse in the 84th minute.
Goalkeeper Zackary Steffen earned the USA’s second consecutive clean sheet.
Asked to rate the USA’s performance out of 10, Gall gave his team an eight.
"We still can progress," he said. "It was a good performance."
Despite dominating the opening half, the Americans could only walk away with a 1-0 lead.
Gall connected for his penalty with 12 minutes remaining in the first half, two minutes after Tommy Thompson was brought down by Allando Brown in the box. The Columbus Crew midfielder slotted home his spot kick, beating goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson to the lower right side. Brown was assessed a yellow card by referee Marlon Mejia (El Salvador).
In the 67th minute, Nelson tripped Bradford Jamieson in the area and was given a yellow card. On his second penalty kick of the game, Gall decided to go to the opposite corner for a 2-0 advantage.
The two goals gave Gall five for the tournament.
"The team is able to play better therefore I am able to produce as well on the field," Gall said.
The USA will finish the group stage against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday, while the Jamaicans meet Aruba.