USMNT vs. Jamaica result: Ricardo Pepi scores two goals in US World Cup qualifying win – Sporting News

Mission accomplished for the U.S. national team. With another two goals from teenage star striker Ricardo Pepi, the Americans picked up another CONCACAF World Cup qualifying victory, 2-0 over Jamaica in Austin, Texas.

It was a strong start to the series of three October qualifiers for the USMNT and manager Gregg Berhalter has his 18-year-old goal scorer to thank. After a frustrating first half for the USA in which Jamaica sat back and proved difficult to break down, Pepi found the breakthrough with an expert header four minutes after the break. The second came shortly after in the 63rd minute, on an easy finish inside the box.

It was a second straight man-of-the-match performance for Pepi, who now has three goals in two consecutive starts and looks to be a lock at the starting forward position. In fact, Berhalter took him off the field with 20 minutes left in the match, potentially saving him for the next two matches in the coming days.

MORE: Who is Ricardo Pepi? Teen phenom’s story

The Americans didn’t create many opportunities in the first half but they did have gripes with the officials on three different plays, including one after just 18 seconds. U.S. winger Paul Arriola sprinted behind the Jamaican defense and was hauled down from behind by Kemar Lawrence with nothing but green space in front of him. The referee, Reon Radix from Grenada, opted for a yellow card instead of a red for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunty, likely taking into account the distance from goal.  

The U.S. bench was also unhappy with the yellow card decision on a similar play in the 33rd minute when Brenden Aaronson was charging toward goal, only to be hacked down by Damion Lowe, who was cautioned. Just before halftime, Arriola went down again in the corner of the box after he was shoved. No penalty from the referee and there’s no VAR used during qualifying to review it.

The USMNT momentarily moves atop the CONCACAF World Cup standings with the victory, though the top two teams were set to play in the late match on Thursday.

USA vs. Jamaica final score

  1H 2H Final
USA 0 2 2
Jamaica 0 0 0


USA – Ricardo Pepi (Sergino Dest) – 49th min.

USA – Ricardo Pepi (Brenden Aaronson) – 63rd min.

USA vs. Jamaica updates & highlights

Standings and results: Updated World Cup qualifying table

(All times Eastern)

Final: USA 2, Jamaica 0

93rd min.: What a chance for Jamaica! Long ball from Kemar Lawrence to Shamar Nicholson, who brings it down nicely and fires barely wide.

90th min.: Three minutes of stoppage time. And the USA is still running hard.

85th min.: Zardes almost scores the USA’s third! He touches a cross from the left past Jamaica ‘keeper Andre Blake, but Blake recovers to stop it just before it rolled over the goal line.

83rd min.: SUBS – Another U.S. sub. Kellyn Acosta for Tyler Adams. Jamaica brings on Javain Brown for Alvas Powell who fell injured.

78th min.: USA chance! Tim Weah serves it up to Gyasi Zardes in the middle of the box. And fans will definitely be saying: Pepi scores that.

76th min.: SUB – Sergino Dest comes off with an injury after a wild run on the right. Shaq Moore comes in to replace him.

68th min.: SUBS – This is how important Pepi has become. The 18-year-old scores twice and comes off the field for Gyasi Zardes to finish the job. Brenden Aaronson is also off and Tim Weah replace him wide left.

63rd min.: Goal USA! And just when Jamaica makes its attacking subs, the Americans get another. Brenden Aaronson is fed the ball out left and feeds Pepi in stride in the middle of the box and it’s 2-0 USA.

61st min.: With one point in the standings, Jamaica is making attacking subs. Junior Flemmings and Kemar Roofe in for Jamal Lowe and Tyreek Magee.

57th min.: The USMNT is playing relaxed now that it has the goal. Sergino Dest cuts inside and dribbles his way just outside the Jamaica box and Adrian Mariappa chops him down. It’s a free kick which Dest takes himself and it’s just high.

52nd min.: Yunus Musah’s run on the first goal was a big part of the play and he makes another run down the heart of the Jamaican back line to earn a corner. Nothing comes of it. Great start to the second half for Musah and the USA.

49th min.: Goal USA! It’s Pepi who heads home. Yunus Musah to Sergino Dest out wide right and his cross finds Pepi who nods it home.

46th min.: Second half is underway. And it starts the way the last one ended: Cross from the left flank by the USA and nothing comes of it.

Halftime: USA 0, Jamaica 0

Halftime: Jamaica created the best chances of that first half. The USA is left to recriminate after three questionable calls from the referee. Two that could’ve resulted in straight reds and another that was really close to being a penalty. The USA needs a little magic from someone to come up with a big play. The crosses in the box aren’t going anywhere and there’s nowhere to run. Matthew Hoppe and Tim Weah off the bench could bring that type of play.

46th min.: Penalty shout for the USA! Paul Arriola is shoved from behind on the corner of the Jamaican box. No call from the referee.

45th min.: Wow! Jamaica with the best looks of the first half. Shamar Nicholson with the glancing header on a corner kick and he nearly finds the far post.

41st min.: Big save by Matt Turner! Jamal Lowe with a low, curling left-footed shot and Turner dives to sweep it away from danger.

40th min.: Here’s today’s referee crew. Once again a reminder, no VAR :

  • Referee: Reon Radix (Grenada)
  • Assistant Referee: Keytzel Corrales (Nicaragua)
  • Assistant Referee: Iroots Appleton (Antigua & Barbuda)
  • 4th Official: Tristley Bassue (St. Kitts & Nevis)

36th min.: The USMNT is opting for lofted crosses in the box and Jamaica can handle those all day. The USA has been most dangerous with quick combinations that allow for runs in behind.

33rd min.: Another incident. This time it’s Brenden Aaronson sprung in behind and Damion Lowe hacks him down right outside the box. But Aaronson was alone on goal. Here, too, the referee opts for a yellow card. The USMNT can’t believe it.

30th min.: Weston McKennie tries to solve the issue. He makes a run down the heart of the Jamaica defense after a give-and-go with Brenden Aaronson. His cross inside the box is blocked for a corner, but nothing comes of it.

25th min.: So not much is happening in either end. Jamaica is giving the USMNT the flanks. Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest are getting on the ball deep in Jamaica’s half. But the Reggae Boyz are clogging the middle so there are few clear looks. A Gio Reyna or Christian Pulisic would’ve been helpful in this situation with their dribbling ability and vision.

20th min.: Weston McKennie is active. Minutes after he won a free kick wide right, he blasts a long-distance shot that is off target. But he’s involved.

13th min.: Cross by Jamaica’s Shamar Nicholson and U.S. ‘keeper Matt Turner gobbles it up before it can get to any of his Jamaican teammates.

11th min.: Jamaica chance! Tyreek Magee gets the ball behind the U.S. midfield (with an arm in Tyler Adams’ face) and Magee fires a left-footed shot that just misses the top right corner of Matt Turner’s goal.

8th min.: Strong start for the USMNT. Gregg Berhalter wasn’t kidding: The Americans aren’t wasting any time when they win the ball. They go vertical immediately and they’re finding space, especially out wide.

3rd min.: In case you were wondering why there’s no VAR in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying — read this .

1st min.: We’re 18 seconds into the game and Kemar Lawrence could easily have received a red card here for tugging down Paul Arriola who’s sprung in behind on goal with green space in front of him. But the referee opts for the yellow card. Wow.

7:43 p.m.: It’s a full house in Austin:

7:42 p.m.: Anthems. (And a new look for Weston McKennie.)

Weston McKennie’s bleached spot of hair will power the USMNT to victory

— Ryan Rosenblatt, World Series Champion (@RyanRosenblatt) October 7, 2021

7:33 p.m.: Tifo incoming:

7:03 p.m.: Warmups underway:

6:52 p.m.: ESPN’s answer to the Paramount+ crew:

6:09 p.m.: Bus is almost at the stadium.

USA vs. Jamaica: Starting lineups

Gregg Berhalter gives Matt Turner the start at goalkeeper over Manchester City backup Zack Steffen, and Pepi gets a second straight start. Walker Zimmerman gets the nod over Chris Richards at center back and Yunus Musah is thrown right into the starting XI after needing a follow-up COVID-19 test.

USA starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right):  1-Matt Turner-GK — 5-Antonee Robinson, 12-Miles Robinson, 3-Walker Zimmerman, 2-Sergino Dest — 8-Weston McKennie, 4-Tyler Adams (c), 6-Yunus Musah — 11-Brenden Aaronson, 16-Ricardo Pepi, 7-Paul Arriola

USA subs (12): 13-Zack Steffen-GK, 22-Shaq Moore, 21-George Bello, 18-Mark McKenzie, 15-Chris Richards, 14-Luca de la Torre, 17-Sebastian Lletget, 10-Cristian Roldan, 23-Kellyn Acosta, 20-Tim Weah, 9-Gyasi Zardes, 19-Matthew Hoppe (Note: Gianluca Busio, Sean Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin did not make the matchday squad)

As mentioned, the Reggae Boyz are short-handed. According to local reports, they will be missing three England-based players because of injury: Ethan Pinnock (Brentford), Liam Moore (Reading) and Daniel Johnson (Preston North End). That’s on top of Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) and Michail Antonio (West Ham) already being out. But Jamaica is still optimistic. “We have enough quality in the squad to beat these Americans,” assistant coach Paul Hall told the Jamaica Observer .

Jamaica starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right):  1-Andre Blake-GK — 20-Kemar Lawrence, 17-Damion Lowe, 19-Adrian Mariappa, 5-Alvas Powell — 22-Devon “Speedy” Williams, 15-Jevaughn Watson — 9-Jamal Lowe, 21-Tyreek Magee, 10-Bobby Reid — 11-Shamar Nicholson

Jamaica subs (9): Dillon Barnes-GK, Jeadine White-GK, Javain Brown, Oniel Fisher, Jamoi Topey, Junior Flemmings, Javon East, Andre Gray, Kemar Roofe

How to watch USA vs. Jamaica

  • Date: Thursday, Oct. 7
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN2
  • Spanish-language TV: Univision, TUDN
  • Streaming: fuboTV , ESPN+

The World Cup qualifier between the USA and Jamaica will be televised in English (ESPN2) and Spanish (Univision, TUDN). Those networks are available to be streamed on fuboTV , which offers a free seven-day trial for new users .

The match will be held at a sold-out Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. It will be the first USMNT match at the venue, which opened in June. The U.S. women’s national team played the first match at the venue.

USA vs. Jamaica: Betting odds & prediction

Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Pick: USA -1.25 Asian Handicap (-140)

The USMNT is the clear favorite to win the match and the only question is how many goals the Americans will score. The Jamaicans will play defense-first and when they’re on their game and goalkeeper Andre Blake is having a blinder, they can stymie the best teams (see the opening match vs. Mexico). They’ve also capitulated in other matches.

Even with a decimated Jamaica squad, it’s best to steer away from goal totals. Because the sides are unplayable, the focus turns to the spreads market. Seeking some insurance in case Jamaica has one of those  games, the recommended play is the USA -1.25 Asian Handicap, which gives you back half your bet if the USA only wins by a goal.

Prediction: USA 3, Jamaica 1

  • Moneyline: USA -330/Draw +425/Jamaica +750
  • Spread: USA -1.5 (+100)/Jamaica +1.5 (-120)
  • O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -130/Under +105
  • Both teams to score: Yes +120/No -160