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Evans' late winner lifts United States over Jamaica

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Updated: 6/07/2013 11:27 pm

Kingston, Jamaica (Sports Network) - Defender Brad Evans played hero for the United States men's national team on Friday as his goal in stoppage time lifted the Americans to a 2-1 victory over Jamaica in 2014 World Cup Qualifying at Kingston National Stadium.

Coming off an impressive 4-3 win over Germany in a friendly last Sunday, Jozy Altidore opened the scoring for the United States in the 30th minute, but Jermaine Beckford equalized for Jamaica in the 89th minute.

In stoppage time however, it was the unlikeliest of heroes that came through as Evans smashed one past Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts for his first international goal to secure a crucial three points for the United States.

The United States came out of the gate quickly and had a solid chance on goal just minutes into the match when Michael Bradley ripped a first-time shot from just outside the Jamaica penalty area that beat Ricketts, but smashed the post and stayed out.

The pace slowed down considerably as the first half wore on and the Jamaicans had their first good chance in the 27th minute with a free kick on the left side of the box, but the cross was well over-struck and rolled out of play.

The Americans found their first tally on the half-hour mark as Sporting Kansas City man Graham Zusi raced past his mark down the right flank and whipped a cross into the box for Altidore, who nodded it past Ricketts for his second goal in as many matches in a U.S. kit.

After the goal, Jamaica responded with a golden opportunity in the 39th minute as Portland Timbers man Ryan Johnson lofted one through the American backline for an onrushing Rodolph Austin, who beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard with a right-footed shot, but it smacked the right post and stayed out as the U.S. maintained its 1-0 lead at the break.

After the break, both clubs struggled to generate many quality scoring opportunities, but Jamaica equalized in the 89th minute though what appeared to be a relatively harmless free kick as Beckford slipped his mark in the U.S. penalty area and nodded the free kick past a stationary Howard to make it 1-1.

The United States refused to let a potentially crucial two points slip away though, as just moments later Bradley fired a cross into the box from the left flank where the Seattle Sounders man, Evans, took a touch to control and ripped it past Ricketts into the top right corner on the turn to hand the U.S. their first ever win in Jamaica in World Cup qualifying.

The victory moves the United States into a three-way tie at the top of the CONCACAF qualifying hexagonal group with seven points, while Jamaica remains rooted to the bottom of the group with two points.

The United States will continue on the road toward a 2014 World Cup berth with a match against Panama in Seattle on June 11.

Elsewhere in CONCACAF on Friday, Mexico and Panama battled to a scoreless draw, while Costa Rica edged Honduras by a 1-0 score.

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