Thanks to a goal from Brandon Vázquez in the 88th minute, the US team avoided a fall in its debut in the 2023 edition of the Gold Cup against Jamaica, against whom it managed a 1-1 draw.
Both teams had a clear chance to score in front of the opponent’s goal in the first few minutes of the game, but in the 13th minute the balance turned in favor of the Reggae Boyz. Damion Lowe arrived alone in the middle of the penalty area and finished with a shot from a header to make it 1-0 after an assist from Demarai Gray from a free kick.
Calling up a revamped squad, coach BJ Callaghan’s team struggled to mark the opposition, which moved quickly around the field at Soldier Field Stadium.
In the 27th minute the referee ruled a foul inside the penalty area, a contact between Aidan Morris and Kevon Lambert, for which a penalty was assessed. But Jamaica missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead, with Leon Bailey failing to gather in front of goalkeeper Matt Turner and immediately failing on the counterattack. Despite threatening, the Reggae Boyz were unable to score another goal in the first 45 minutes.
In the opening minutes of the complementary half, the USA struggled to establish its game against an opponent that continued to move quickly up the pitch. Coach Callaghan began moving his pieces in search of a draw, and although his players appeared more coordinated and opened up space at times, they were unable to generate the dangerous moves that would take them closer to the draw.
In the final portion of the game, the Reggae Boyz lost the speed to move forward and attack and retreated to their court, giving the US team more opportunities to move the ball and create danger.
The patience paid off as the USA scored the equalizer in the 88th minute. Brandon Vázquez, who came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute, found the ball in the center of the penalty area, finished powerfully with his right leg and swerved away at the last minute. , that the US team began its defense of the Gold Cup crown with a setback.
Alejandro Zendejas appeared as a regular in coach BJ Callaghan’s lineup, but was the protagonist of a gray game in which he made no difference on the pitch and was substituted in the 66th minute.