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Photos: Late goal lifts USA to 6th Gold Cup title

Bruce Arena becomes first coach to win three CONCACAF Gold Cups

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The U.S. men’s national team used goals from Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris to defeat Jamaica 2-1 and claim the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in front of 63,032 fans at Levi’s Stadium. The victory marks the USA’s sixth all-time confederation championship and makes Bruce Arena the first head coach to win the competition on three occasions.

In another match where the U.S. managed most of the possession, the game’s first chance also served as a pivotal moment. In the 19th minute, Altidore picked up a loose ball and blasted an effort from distance that saw Jamaica ‘keeper Andre Blake sprawl out to make the save.

Kellyn Acosta followed up the rebound, but Blake got enough of a touch to slow his effort down before Damion Lowe cleared it off the line. While the danger subsided, Jamaica suffered a serious blow as Blake injured his hand on the play and was replaced by Dwayne Miller in the 23rd minute.

Just before halftime, captain Michael Bradley was fouled 30 yards from goal following a nice build-up through midfield. On the ensuing free kick, Altidore stepped up and curled a brilliant effort over the Jamaica wall before it squeezed past Miller and inside the upper left corner to send the U.S. into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.

While the goal could have been back-breaking, Jamaica came out of the locker room still inspired and pulled level in the 50th minute when Kemar Lawrence’s corner kick from the right picked out Je-Vaughn Watson in stride before the midfielder volleyed home his effort at the back post.

The match opened up after Jamaica’s leveler with both teams carving out goal-scoring opportunities only to be denied by excellent goalkeeping at both ends. However, the USA’s relentless pressure finally told in the 88th minute when substitute Gyasi Zardes sent a cross into the Reggae Boyz’ six-yard box. The resulting clearance was knocked down by Clint Dempsey into the path of Morris, who rifled a shot into the top right corner for the game winner.

The victory marks the sixth time the U.S. has lifted the Gold Cup, having previously done so in 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013. Having guided the U.S. to confederation titles in 2002 and 2005, the victory also makes Bruce Arena the first head coach to win three Gold Cups.

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

Jamaica forward Darren Mattocks tries to dribble past U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez.