After blowing a late lead, the United States men's national team got a shocking goal from an even more shocking source on Friday night to claim its first ever World Cup qualifying victory in Jamaica.
Converted midfielder Brad Evans started at right back and scored his first ever goal for the U.S. national team in second half injury time, countering an 89th-minute goal for Jamaica, to give the Americans a 2-1 victory and a vital three points in the CONCACAF hexagonal.
The 28-year-old Evans, claiming just his 10th cap, typically plays in the midfield for MLS's Seattle Sounders. But U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told MLSSoccer.com that with Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the center of midfield for the U.S., Evans' best shot at making an impact is as a wing defender. And make an impact Evans did.
Ok. Who had Brad Evans in the gwg pool? #usmnt— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) June 8, 2013
The U.S. claimed a controversial corner kick just moments after Jermaine Beckford seemed to ruin American fans' evenings with a header past defenseless U.S. netminder Tim Howard, and the Red, White and Blue looked to put together a last-ditch rush on the Jamaican goal.
The ball was played into Bradley well wide of the goal. He took several tentative touches before beating defender Alvas Powell toward the end line. He played the ball to the feet of the 6'1" Evans, who deftly pivoted and shot with his right foot past Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts into the far corner of the net.
Jozy Altidore had scored in the 30th minute to give the U.S. the lead it held for approximately an hour. Graham Zusi dusted his Jamaican marker on the right wing and floated in a perfect ball to the AZ Alkmaar man, who headed down and past Ricketts for his second goal in two matches.
It wasn't the prettiest of matches for the United States, but they'll take anything that puts them firmly on the road to Brazil 2014. And Evans' goal on Friday night in Kingston did precisely that.
SPI odds to make WC after Friday games: #USMNT 94.9%, MEX 93.0%, CRC 86.5%, PAN 45.9%, HON 44.7%, JAM 1.2%.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 8, 2013