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Brandon Vazquez saves USMNT from Jamaica upset in Gold Cup opener with 88th-minute equalizer

Brandon Vázquez came off the bench to score in the 88th minute as the U.S. men's national team salvaged a 1-1 draw with upset-minded Jamaica on Saturday in the first match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Chicago.

Vázquez, of FC Cincinnati, entered six minutes earlier and was in the right spot in front of the goal when a Jesús Ferreira cross deflected off Jamaican defender Dexter Lembikisa.

Damion Lowe scored in the 13th minute and Philadelphia Union teammate Andre Blake made three saves for the Jamaicans.

Matt Turner had two saves for the United States, which last won the Gold Cup in 2021. In addition to the Gold Cup victory, the Americans also won the CONCACAF Nations League finals in 2021. The U.S. won the Nations League again this year following a 3-0 win over Mexico in the semifinals and a 2-0 victory versus Canada in the final on June 18. However, the U.S. roster for the Gold Cup has just five holdovers from the Nations League.

The U.S. is aiming for its eighth Gold Cup title, which would allow the Americans to be tied with Mexico for the most championships in the tournament's history.

Group A action will continue in St. Louis on Wednesday when the U.S. plays St. Kitts and Nevis while Jamaica plays Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to those meetings, St. Kitts and Nevis will face Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.

Jamaica jumped on top off a free kick, as Lowe was in the middle of the box and headed a cross from Demarai Gray. Turner prevented the lead from growing in the 29th minute when he saved a penalty kick by Leon Bailey. Turner dove to his left to make the save and Bailey deposited the rebound to the left of goal.

Blake, a three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, denied Jordan Morris in first-half stoppage time with sprawling save. He also made a kick save against Cristian Roldan in the 71st minute.

(Field Level Media)

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