88th minute goal sees USMNT win Group B on goal difference


In the final game of Group B action at the 2017 Gold Cup, the USA men's national team put together a much-improved performance in a 3-0 victory over Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is the bottom feeder in Group B, losing 2-0 to Martinique and 2-1 to Panama.

Panama will win the group unless the US beats Nicaragua by three goals or more in the late game on Saturday.

Joe Corona opened the scoring late in the first half, with a solo run in the box and shot that deflected off a Nicaragua defender on its way to goal. The Group B runners-up will face Costa Rica, while the winners get a third-placed team, with both games set for Wednesday in Philadelphia. The U.S.is now tied atop the group with Panama after squeaking out a 3-2 win over Martinique on Wednesday in Tampa. Bedoya intercepted a pass deep in Nicaragua's end and tried working a combination with Dwyer.

The U.S. quickly atoned for the penalty miss when Kelyn Rowe scored his first worldwide goal, in the 56th minute, from a lovely shot with the outside of his right foot, that took a deflection and slipped inside the near post for a 2-0 lead.

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The increasing pressure in the second half also saw the U.S. MNT earn two penalty kicks. The New England Revolution midfielder made no mistake, beating Lorente to the near post.

The chances continued to mount for the U.S. MNT and the third goal came in the 88th minute.

The U.S. MNT will now wait for the final Group C matches to conclude before learning their quarterfinal opponent.

Matt Miazga's goal off a Graham Zusi free kick in the 87th minute secured the necessary goal differential to win the group.

Dwyer was dragged down by Marlon Lopez for the first spot-kick, but the forward's penalty was too narrow and at a good height for Lorente.