Pulisic scores twice to lead U.S. to Gold Cup semis win over Jamaica


United States midfielder Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring a goal against Jamaica during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal soccer match Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski / AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Christian Pulisic scored twice in the second half, and the United States beat Jamaica 3-1 on Wednesday night for a berth against Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

Weston McKennie also scored for the Americans, who face El Tri at Chicago on Sunday night in the finale of a tripleheader of finals. The U.S. women play the Netherlands in the World Cup final and Brazil faces Peru for the Copa America.

The U.S. is 6-4 in Gold Cup finals, including 1-4 against Mexico with a win in 2007 and losses in 1993, ’98, ‘09 and ’11. The Americans have won 10 straight Gold Cup matches.

McKennie scored for the second straight game, putting the U.S. ahead in the ninth minute with his third international goal. The game was halted in the 16th minute for 1 hour, 28 minutes because of a lightning storm.

Pulisic made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute and, Shamar Nicholson cut the deficit in the 69th and Pulisic got his second goal in the 87th, giving the 20-year-old 13 goals in 30 international appearances. Nine of Pulisic’s 12 international goals have come in competitive matches.

The Nissan Stadium crowd of 28,473 was chanting "We Want Mexico" in the game’s closing minutes.

Nicholson’s goal was the first against the U.S. in the tournament and ended a 482-minute scoreless streak by the U.S. defence. The Reggae Boyz were trying to reach their third straight Gold Cup final following loses to Mexico in the 2015 championship game and the U.S shutout streak.

McKennie’s goal developed from a long pass from Michael Bradley to Reggie Cannon on the side of the penalty area. Cannon crossed and Altidore had his back to the goal as he tapped the ball to a charging McKennie. McKennie’s shot from about six yards sailed over the right hand of goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Altidore and Cannon had earned starts along with attacker Jordan Morris, and central defender Matt Miazga’s as part of U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter’s lineup shuffle.

Pulisic’s first goal came after McKennie made a long pass to Morris, who ran free on a final. Blake saved Morris’ shot, but Pulisic was coming up from the left side and knocked in the rebound.

Nicholson scored on a header from Leon Bailey’s cross. Blake made a diving save of Arriola’s shot from the left side, but Pulisic was again ready for the rebound and sent a shot into the left side of the goal.


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