SPORTS

Herculez Gomez Goal: U.S. Soccer Tops Jamaica In 2014 World Cup Qualifying Match (VIDEO)

09/11/2012 10:51 pm ET | Updated Sep 11, 2012

By Mike Slane, Goal.com

The U.S. soccer team made the nation proud on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 and at the same time gained some breathing room in World Cup qualifying.

Needing a win to remain in striking distance of advancing to the next round, Jurgen Klinsmann's squad bounced back from last week's devastating loss to Jamaica with a dominating 1-0 victory over the Reggae Boyz Tuesday night at Columbus Crew Stadium.

After four games in Group A, the United States, Jamaica and Guatemala are tied at the top with seven points apiece. The top two in the group advance to the Hexagonal.

Jamaica defeated the USA for the first time ever Friday, handing the Americans a 2-1 loss in Kingston. Rudolph Austin and Luton Shelton scored on free kicks to counter Clint Dempsey's first-minute strike.

But the Americans got their revenge at home.

The U.S. entered Ohio with a sense of urgency as it attacked Jamaica's backline from the opening kick, hitting the woodwork three times with its first six shots.

In the fifth minute, Graham Zusi and Steve Cherundolo worked a great combination before Zusi hit the crossbar. Moments later, Cherundolo had his shot deflected off Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Miller and into the post, followed by Danny Williams ripping a long-range effort off the upper 90 posts.

Somehow the teams entered the half in a scoreless draw, but Miller wouldn't stay lucky for much longer.

Gomez finally gave the U.S. the breakthrough the team had been looking for after Dempsey drew a free kick outside the center of the box. The Santos Laguna forward stepped up and fired nicely to finally get one past the diving Miller, who should have been able to make the save.

The U.S. held on the rest of the way despite a late push from Jamaica, which had been quiet offensively throughout the night in front of a sold-out crowd on Sept. 11.

The U.S. improved to 11-1-8 all-time against Jamaica, scoring 33 goals while allowing 12, despite playing without injured midfielders Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan.

The USA has two games remaining in this round of World Cup qualifying: Oct. 12 at Antigua & Barbuda and Oct. 16 Guatemala in Kansas City.

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PHOTOS: U.S. Soccer vs. Jamaica
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