The US men's national team weathered arguably their toughest Gold Cup test yet in Sunday night's quarterfinal to beat Jamaica 1-0, punching their ticket to a semifinal Thursday against Qatar thanks to a late Matthew Hoppe goal.

The match, part of a doubleheader at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, featured nine MLS players in the USMNT's starting XI and another four in Jamaica's.

It was a nervy start for the United States, as Jamaica nearly engineered a goal in the first minute of the match and played physically. The US also saw their string of scoring in the first 15 minutes of a match stop at four, though Shaq Moore had two prime chances to extend that tally to a fifth match. Hoppe also had an excellent 22nd-minute strike, but Jamaican (and Philadelphia Union) goalkeeper Andre Blake was up to the test, diving to save the attempt.

Junior Flemmings had two of the best scoring opportunities for Jamaica in the first half, including a 39th-minute rocket following a USMNT turnover that stung Matt Turner's palms as he extended to keep his clean sheet. Bobby Reid was similarly helped by a turnover for a shot attempt a minute later, but hit it tamely for Turner to recover easily.

Daryl Dike and Kellyn Acosta also engineered some first-half chances, but both teams went to the locker rooms without having scored.

The second half started in nervy fashion, with both teams doing well to defend against attackers angling to get their teams in the lead. Miles Robinson and James Sands did well on a breakaway play that put the USMNT on their heels.

Just past the hour mark, head coach Gregg Berhalter turned to two trusted players – Gyasi Zardes and Cristian Roldan – to generate more chances. They nearly combined to score within minutes of coming on, but Blake again met the test.

Jamaica came close to the opener on a 78th-minute free kick from substitute Shamar Nicholson that bounced just out of reach of a line of attackers who had the host's defense beat.

Then in the 83rd minute, Hoppe – on just his third cap – rose highest on a cross from Roldan that Zardes also leaped for, finally beating Blake. Jamaica went for it with some last-gasp chances, including a stoppage-time corner kick in which Blake came forward and collided head-to-head with Robinson after making a play on the ball. But in the end, the Americans survived and will face Qatar in Austin for the chance to go to Las Vegas for next Sunday's final.

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Goals

  • 83' — USA — Matthew Hoppe | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: You don’t have to win them all pretty in a tournament; you just need to win them all, and the young US players took a big step in their development. They gutted out a gritty win against a Jamaica team that was intent to press and frustrate their opposition, with a ref that largely let the teams play on a bumpy pitch that threw some unpredictability into the match. It feels as if the Americans are on the collision course with Mexico that was predicted at the Gold Cup's outset, though the Asian champs are next. It would be of the chaos that Concacaf is known for to have a guest team crash the finals.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The goal was a long time coming, and the young striker managed to connect as his number was ready to go up on the substitution board.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: There’s lots of praise to go around, with Matt Turner making five saves, Hoppe delivering the goal, Roldan putting in a great sub shift and Acosta putting in the sort of work that had Berhalter effusive in his praise in the post-match presser. But Miles Robinson deserves credit for his role in shutting down Jamaica’s attack, with some key stops to snuff out the fires Jamaica were blazing in front of goal.

Next Up

  • USA: Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals vs. Qatar | Thursday, June 29 | 7:30 pm ET (FS1, Univision, TUDN)
  • JAM: End of tournament

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