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Brandon Vazquez late goal saves USMNT from upset in Gold Cup Opener

USMNT opens the Gold Cup with drama

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

What looked like it was going to be a disappointing loss turned into a mildly disappointing draw.

It was in the 88th minute that Brandon Vazquez scored the equalizer goal, giving the USMNT a 1-1 draw against Jamaica in the opening game of the Gold Cup tournament.

Jamaica controlled the game despite the USMNT winning the possession battle 68-32, scoring early in the first half. Damion Lowe knocked in a header off a beautiful set piece from Damari Gray. You can blame the goal on poor positioning and marking from the USMNT, but the goal was nothing short of spectacular.

Overall the USMNT did not play well. Coming into the game, the claim of “Kings of the CONCACAF” was the talk of the opening match, but it didn’t reflect that on the field.

Jamaica had another opportunity to put another goal on the board in the first half when Aidan Morris committed a foul in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Leon Bailey.

The play of the night goes to Matt Turner, who turned 29, guessing correctly to stop Bailey’s penalty kick. Bailey had another chance off the save but sent the rebound wide.

‘For us, he just comes up in a big moment,’ interim coach BJ Callaghan said of Turner on FOX after the game. ‘And that’s what you expect from big players.’

After coming off the bench, Vazquez scored his second goal for the USMNT. The goal in the 88th minute saved the point, as Vazquez pounced on a poor clearance from a Jesus Ferreira cross to put the ball away from close range.

B.J. Callaghan has been serving as the interim head coach, but his tenure will end after this tournament as Gregg Berhalter returns as the national team coach. Callaghan will need to make adjustments before facing Saint Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday.