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Second-half goals relieve pressure on U.S. for Grenada return leg.

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U.S. put in impressive effort against Mexico, even before Pope won it.

Beasley goal defeats Poland 1-0, hands Arena first win over host Europeans.

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Califf's tally late in stoppage time salvages 1-1 draw with Haiti.

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Goal by teen Robben sends Netherlands past U.S. 1-0.

Netherlands was clearly superior in victory over Americans.

  • Reserves help U.S. steal qualifying point.

    U.S. men

    Ching gains repemption, his goal in 89th minute earning 1-1 qualifying draw in Jamaica.

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (Wednesday, August 18, 2004) -- Brian Ching was not one to waste a second chance. The reserve striker, who earlier missed an opportunity to tie the game with a point-blank header, made no mistake when he drove home a close-in shot in the final moments of regulation, giving the United States men a 1-1 draw with Jamaica tonight before a capacity crowd of 27,000 watching the CONCACAF semifinal-round World Cup qualifying opener for both nations at National Stadium.

    Ching's first career goal in his third international appearance gave the U.S. an important road point in the Group 1 standings. After a power outage delayed the start of the other Group 1 game 40 minutes, El Salvador survived a first-half red card for forward Jose Martinez and defeated visiting Panama 2-1 tonight.

    The Americans' six-match, round-robin group continues with a 4 p.m. (ET) home game against El Salvador September 4 in Foxborough, Mass., televised by Fox Sports World and Telemundo. Four days later, the U.S. is in Panama for a 9 p.m. start, televised by Fox Sports World.

    The U.S. remained undefeated all-time against Jamaica with an 8-0-6 mark, 2-0-5 in World Cup qualifying. This was the fourth time the U.S. had played a qualifier in Jamaica, dating back to 1988, and each match has wound up tied, the first three scoreless.

    "I'm very pleased with the result," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "The team had an excellent game. Even if we had lost 1-0, I would have said we played well. Defensively, we were very solid. These are what road games look like.

    "Jamaica did a good job of making things difficult for us, especially in the first half, but I thought our team responded well. I told the team at halftime that I thought the second half would go in our favor, but giving up the early goal (after intermission) obviously put us under pressure. The team showed a lot of class staying in the game and I think we deserve the draw."

    With Jamaica desperately stalling, trying to run out the clock to protect its 1-0 lead, midfielder Cobi Jones, a second-half substitute, collected an errant Jamaican pass in the midfield and played give-and-go with midfielder DaMarcus Beasley to break free down the right sideline. Ten yards from the endline, Jones crossed to the penalty spot where a retreating Jamaican defender tried to head the ball away, but had the ball drop dead at his feet.

    Striker Landon Donovan was all alone, a yard from the ball and he calmly touched the ball to his right. Ching, his teammate with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, pushed the ball with his left foot to his right and drilled his eight-yard blast high and inside the right post for the 1-1 tie in the 89th minute.

    "Once I got in the stadium and heard the crowd, I was very excited to play," said Ching, the first Hawaiian to play for the U.S. men. "I wasn't nervous. I'm happy to be able to contribute. On the goal, Cobi made a great cross and I heard Landon say, 'Leave it.' The ball hit a defender and went straight to his feet and I think he surprised everyone by passing the ball and I just tried to put it on goal. This is a critical time in my career and hopefully I will get another opportunity in qualifying."

    Ching replaced an ineffective Brian McBride in the 61st minute and two minutes later, he came up empty on a prime opportunity. DaMarcus Beasley intercepted a weak Jamaican defensive clearance 30 yards out. Two passes later, midfielder Claudio Reyna found overlapping defender Greg Vanney just wide left of the penalty area. Vanney lifted a perfect pass to the far post where Ching, charging forward, sent his open header wide right from six yards out.

    The match had the feel of another scoreless draw until Jamaica defender Ian Goodison put away a header in the 49th minute. Goodison shed his marker -- McBride -- and was in fine position to receive defender Theodore Whitmore's right-side corner kick. From eight yards out, Goodison drove his header down off the six-yard line with the ball bouncing high and inside the far post to put the Reggae Boyz ahead 1-0. Keller, diving to his right, had no way to calculate the carom and the ball tantalizingly curled above his outstretched right arm.

    The corner kick ensued after Jamaica playmaker Andy Williams slipped behind Vanney and received a pass from striker Damani Ralph. Carrying deep into the right side of the box, Williams' attempted cross was blocked over the end line by the chest of U.S. defender Eddie Pope who covered well by racing over from the middle.

    Six minutes after the Jamaica goal, the Americans created a good scoring opportunity after Reyna ran onto a long kick from Keller. Reyna found Donovan barely wide of the right perimeter of the penalty area, Donovan knocked a pass to the top center of the box where an advancing McBride drove a 19-yarder a couple of feet over the crossbar.

    The game was evenly played with neither side creating much danger on attack. Jamaica started the game strong in the first half with the Americans coming on as time went on. The second half repeated the pattern with Jamaica getting off to s good start and taking the lead and the U.S. increasingly getting more possession, though ultimately creating few chances.

    Each team took 12 shots with the U.S putting six on frame to only a pair by the Reggae Boyz. "We showed good team spirit and the team never put their heads down," Arena said of the Americans. "They knew what they had to do and they got after it."

    U.S. midfielder Earnie Stewart started and went 67 minutes, extending his all-time U.S. record to 30 World Cup qualifying appearances. Jones increased his total to 27 with the 161st appearance of his career, but only the second appearance for the U.S.'s all-time cap leader since the 2002 World Cup.

    "Cobi is still a good player," Arena said. "Cobi and Earnie are guys that can still help us in this phase, no question about it. The goal is to qualify for the World Cup and they can help us to try and get there."

    The U.S. is now 5-1-4 in 2004, with all four draws coming when the Americans scored the equalizer after the 75th minute, Nine of the 16 U.S. goals this year have come after the 75th minute with two of them being game-winners.

    In CONCACAF Group 2 action, Guatemala dumped host Canada 2-0 while visiting Honduras broke a 2-2 tie at halftime to drub Costa Rica 5-2. In Group 3, Trinidad & Tobago went to St. Vincent & The Grenadines and won 2-0.


    Jamaica 1, United States 1

    Lineups: Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Fabian Davis, Ian Goodison, Claude Davis, Ricardo Gardner, Micah Hyde, Tyrone Marshall, Theodore Whitmore (captain), Andy Williams, Marlon King (Ricardo Fuller 67), Damani Ralph. United States - Kasey Keller, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Pope, Carlos Bocanegra, Greg Vanney, Claudio Reyna (captain), Chris Armas (Eddie Lewis 77), Earnie Stewart (Cobi Jones 68), DaMarcus Beasley, Brian McBride (Brian Ching 61), Landon Donovan.

    Scoring:
    Jamaica - Goodison (Whitmore) 49.
    United States - Ching (Donovan) 89.

    Shots: Jamaica 12, United States 12. Shots on goal: Jamaica 2, United States 6. Saves: Jamaica 4, United States 1. Corner kicks: Jamaica 3, United States 4. Fouls: Jamaica 15, United States 7. Offside: Jamaica 4, United States 0. Yellow card caution: Jamaica - Davis 59.

    Referee: William Mattus (Costa Rica). Assistant referees: Edgar Mora Bolanos (Costa Rica), Leonel Leal Bermudez (Costa Rica). Attendance: 27,000 (capacity) at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. Weather: 87 degrees, humid, windy.

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