Can Jordan Morris and the USMNT get past Nicaragua?

Gold Cup U.S. Soccer Bruce Arena

Gold Cup U.S. Soccer Bruce Arena

Panama (2-0-1, seven points) holds a two-goal advantage over the second-place United States (1-0-1, four points), which needs to defeat last-place Nicaragua (0-2-0) by at least three goals on Saturday to finish atop Group B. Martinique fell to 1-2-0.

Panama advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a resounding 3-0 victory over Martinique on Saturday in Cleveland.

Heading into the match, the U.S. MNT needed to win by three or more goals to take first place in the group and avoid a quarterfinal matchup with Costa Rica. So instead of having to face a hard opponent in Costa Rica in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the USA will now play one of the third-place teams that advance. The U.S. and Panama played to a 1-1 draw in the group opener. They weren't in danger of conceding a goal, but they weren't exactly threatening to smash the 13th-best team in CONCACAF, according to FIFA's rankings. Corona, the late runner, took one touch forward and a pair of touches to his right to dodge two defenders.

United States did double its lead in the 56th minute.

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Incredibly, the US scrambled for the third goal, which enabled the American team to edge Panama for the top spot in the group, after missing not one, but two penalty kicks in the second half - first by Dom Dwyer, then by Joe Corona. The New England Revolution midfielder made no mistake, beating Lorente to the near post.

Arena turned to his bench, inserting Jordan Morris (two goals vs. Martinique) and Juan Agudelo in place of the failed penalty takers. The USMNT went up a man in the 85th with a second yellow card to Luis Copete.

But Matt Miazga scored an 88th-minute header - his first worldwide goal - to lift his side into top spot after Luis Fernando Copete had been sent off for Nicaragua.

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