The United States men’s national team earned a hard-fought point on the road at Jamaica on Tuesday in Concacaf World Cup qualifying, drawing 1-1 with both goals coming in the first half. The Americans were the stronger team in the first 45 minutes but struggled in the second half as neither team could find the breakthrough.
Christian Pulisic looked to be the super sub again after scoring the winner against Mexico on Friday, but chances were hard to come by with a poor pitch making controlling the ball tricky. In-form winger Tim Weah made a splash again, getting the opening goal just 11 minutes in, but the lead was short lived as Michail Antonio scored what may be the goal of the qualifying cycle, putting a weaving, swerving and violent shot past Zack Steffen from about 25 yards out.
The point is still a valuable one for the Americans, keeping them atop the table in Concacaf pending Mexico’s result at Canada later on Tuesday.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
1. Weah becoming key piece
From the winning goal against Costa Rica (that was actually ruled an own goal) and assisting Pulisic against Mexico last week to his performance in this one, we are reaching a point where he is consistently making a huge impact, and that could lead to many more starts. With so many options in attack, and with Gregg Berhalter liking to switch things up, things will get interesting in January assuming Weah is in camp and Gio Reyna returns. It’s a luxury to have two young players like that, but you have to view Weah as the starter thanks to what he’s been able to show the last couple months.
Tuesday was just another example of what he can do when marching on goal:
2. There was no stopping Antonio
Just watch this goal on replay. I mean, was that something else or what? The West Ham star produced a moment of individual brilliance that’s hard seeing any goalkeeper stop due to it’s movement in the air and pace.
Here’s Antonio’s astonishing goal:
It’s easy to say Zack Steffen should have saved that, but it had so much pace on it that I’m not sure he saw it until it was too late. It was a deserved goal for the Reggae Boyz considering they had the more dangerous opportunities. That’s just one you have to tip your hat to and move on.
3. Did the ref rob Jamaica?
The first “C” in Concacaf stands for confederation, but it might as well stand for chaos. A controversial call in this match could have resulted in a very different outcome. Jamaica were able to find the back of the next late on a header from Damion Lowe, but a foul in attack was called as Walker Zimmerman.
It felt soft, and it turns out most of us over here at CBS Sports agree. Our Paramount+ team, which includes former USMNT star Clint Dempsey, spoke with our Football Laws Analyst Christina Unkel, and they were unanimous in believing the goal should have stood. Thoughts?