The United States have done just enough to win their group at the 2017 Gold Cup. A late Matt Miazga goal ensured that the U.S. would beat Nicaragua, 3-0, and have just enough goals to finish atop Group B thanks to tie-breaking rules.
The opening 45 minutes began as much of this Gold Cup has been played, with random spurts of anonymous soccer being played accompanied by boring luls. The U.S. and Nicaragua exchanged a few half chances through the opening half hour with neither side looking particularly dangerous.
Finally, the Americans broke through thanks to a little bit of luck. Alejandro Bedoya played in Joe Corona with a nice ball to the top of the box. The midfielder collected, dribbled past a couple of defenders and let loose a shot that bounced off another defender a couple of time and squeaked its way past the opposing goalkeeper. Not the most attractive goal, but in this tournament you can’t complain about a USA goal.
The U.S. opened the second half on much better terms. They won a penalty just five minutes in as Dom Dwyer was taken down. The Sporting Kansas City man stepped up to the spot looking to make it three USMNT goals in three matches, but his attempt was saved.
The second goal came soon after as Alejandro Bedoya again played playmaker, setting up Kelyn Rowe with a nice pass. The winger latched onto it on the left side of the box and toe-poked a finish past the goalkeeper.
Another opportunity from the spot would present itself later in the half as a handball was called on Nicaragua. This time Joe Corona stepped up with confidence and yet his attempt was saved as well.
Nicaragua would have a defender sent off five minutes from full-time after picking up two yellow cards. With the man advantage, the U.S. would grab the third goal they needed thanks to a diving header from Matt Miazga off a Graham Zusi free kick.
With the 3-0 win, the U.S. win Group B and get a more favorable match-up in the quarterfinals.