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Jordan Morris Brace Gives US Men's Team Wild Win vs. Martinique at 2017 Gold Cup

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2017

TAMPA, FL - JULY 12:  Jordan Morris of the United States looks on during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B match between the United States and Martinique at Raymond James Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The United States men's national soccer team staved off disaster Wednesday night at the 2017 Gold Cup. Jordan Morris scored his second goal of the match in the 76th minute to hand the Red, White and Blue a 3-2 win over Martinique at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. 

The tally—relayed by U.S. Soccer on Twittercame after the U.S. blew a 2-0 lead in the span of 10 minutes: 

U.S. Soccer MNT @ussoccer_mnt

It's how you get back 🆙. After #MTQ equalized, @JmoSmooth13 bags his first career brace. https://t.co/0p4xtDy6WH

By virtue of the win, the U.S. has four points through two games and is tied with Panama—who defeated Nicaragua 2-1 on Wednesday night—atop Group B.                          

Although the second half was a goal-filled affair, the U.S. played a relatively underwhelming first 45 minutes despite controlling the pace. 

During that span, the Americans tallied eight corner kicks, three shots on goal and controlled close to 70 percent of the possession. By comparison, Martinique logged one corner kick and one shot on goal in addition to an attempt that deflected off the post. 

Despite the statistical disparity, the U.S. didn't have any goals to show for its first-half effort. Additionally, the Americans looked a bit relaxed in the defensive third and allowed Martinique to make several threatening runs—although ultimately unsuccessful—that exposed some holes in their back line. 

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ESPN Stats & Info's Paul Carr provided a GIF that adequately summed up the USA's sluggish start: 

Paul Carr @PaulCarrTM

#USAvMTQ first half analysis: https://t.co/zlRpP70c4h

But once the second half started, the U.S. didn't wait long to break the scoreless tie. Omar Gonzalez opened the floodgates in the 53rd minute, and he did so emphatically when he slammed home a rebound following a strong outside hit from Paul Arriola.        

Fox Soccer posted video of the game's opening score: 

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

There it is! Omar Gonzalez's 2nd career goal for the #USMNT gives them the lead vs #MTQ. @ModeloUSA #ModeloSoccer https://t.co/FQ5oCHuOk8

Morris quickly doubled USA's lead after a strong run from Eric Lichaj opened an easy tap-in opportunity in front of goal in the 64th minute, but Kevin Parsemain brought Martinique back within striking distance when he sneaked one past Brad Guzan from outside the box two minutes later.

Johan Audel equalized in the 74th, and for a brief moment, it appeared as though the Americans were headed for a must-win showdown in their final game of group play. 

However, Morris played hero in the 76th, which ensured the U.S. would climb up the standings following an opening 1-1 draw against Panama.  

Manager Bruce Arena's side will now turn its attention to Saturday's showdown against Nicaragua at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland with a group victory in sight. 

Martinique, meanwhile, is sitting on three points following an opening win against Nicaragua and will attempt to bolster its standing Saturday against the Panamanians.                           

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