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Mar 21, 2024 9:52 pm

Haji Wright rescues United States for semifinal victory over Jamaica

USA, soccer

Haji Wright scored in the sixth and 19th minutes of extra time from assists by Gio Reyna to complete a miraculous comeback when the U.S. men’s national team defeated Jamaica 3-1 in a semifinal of the CONCACAF Nations League in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday.

The U.S. plays in the final Sunday against the winner between Panama and Mexico later Thursday. Jamaica will play in the third-place match Sunday.

Wright, who scored against The Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup, was the recipient of a slick through ball by Reyna to set up the winner with his left foot for the 2-1 lead. Wright was a late addition to the roster as a replacement for injured forward Josh Sargent.

He made it 3-1 off a weighted ball by Reyna inside the box. Reyna entered at the start of the second half, Wright in the 63rd minute.

The U.S. won the previous tournaments in 2021 and ‘23 but came within seconds of losing despite leading in shots 25-6, shots on target, 7-3, and corner kicks, 12-3.

Jamaica’s Greg Leigh scored 31 seconds into the match and the lead held until the last kick of stoppage time when a U.S. corner kick resulted in an own goal by Jamaican forward Cory Burke in the 96th minute.

Christian Pulisic’s service was headed at the near post by Miles Robinson and glanced off the head of Burke.

According to OptaJack, the goal at 95:24 is the latest stoppage-time goal the USMNT has scored since Ricardo Clark’s winning goal against Venezuela at 96:59 in January 2012.

Leigh scored after a throw-in that went to Bobby De Cordova-Reid. He lofted a cross from the right flank to the far post where U.S. defender Joe Scally was caught ball watching, allowing Leigh an unmarked shot that goalkeeper Matt Turner could not save.

After that, it was nearly all U.S. The Americans had 81 percent possession in the first half which resulted in nine shots but only one on goal.

The U.S. leads the series 20-3-10 but the teams tied 1-1 in the previous two matches in 2021 and ‘23.

–Field Level Media

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