Miazga's late goal gives U.S. 1st place in Gold Cup group

Isaac Cain
July 16, 2017

Going into their final Gold Cup group stage game, the United States men's national team knew that they needed a three-goal win to finish on top of Group B and avoid a quarterfinal date with Costa Rica.

Miazga, a Chelsea defender playing his first worldwide match since May 2016, had an open header near a post and scored his first goal in three national team appearances.

Nicaragua is the bottom feeder in Group B, losing 2-0 to Martinique and 2-1 to Panama. The U.S. will face El Salvador, Honduras or Jamaica.

However, Dom Dwyer and Corona saw second-half spot-kicks saved and US appeared set to finish second to Panama in Group B. Bruce Arena's team accomplished that goal, defeating Nicaragua 3-0 in Cleveland. Dwyer, who was bidding to become only the third American to score in his first three internationals, sent the spot kick high to the near post where it was saved by Nicaragua goalkeeper Gustavo Lorente.

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Arroyo doubled the advantage in the 60th minute, collecting a carom off a corner kick and depositing a left-footed shot that deflected into the net.

A hand ball in the Nicaragua penalty area five minutes later gave Corona a chance to score his second of the game and give the USA the margin it would need to win the group.

After Copete picked up a second yellow card in the 85th minute, Zusi drifted in a delightful set-piece for Miazga to head in at the back post for what was a crucial goal for USA. Nicaragua was down to nine when Luis Peralta was carried off the field.

That would be the only goal in the first half, leaving plenty of unrest for a United States team that has struggled to close things out so far in the Gold Cup.

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