Philly Sports Live

Last Minute Goal Seals the Deal For the USMNT

Photo Courtesy of Major League Soccer

He scores when he wants, he scores when he wants, he’s Eddie Johnson, he scores when he wants!  That was the song sung all through the halls of Fado Irish Pub in downtown Philadelphia tonight as Eddie Johnson, in heroic fashion, picked up a literal last minute game winner for the USMNT against Antigua & Barbuda, a team that proved more troublesome than originally thought.  It started off as a beautiful night in Antigua, but the rain and wind showed up sooner than expected, turning an already small pitch into one giant puddle, reeking havoc on both squads during the course of the match.

It took until the 20th minute, but the injury riddled USMNT opened up the scoring after Graham Zusi made a perfect cross right on top of the head of Eddie Johnson, who proceeded to put the ball in the back of the net and give the US a 1-0 lead.  Johnson would make quite a name for himself on the night, having made his first start for the national team since 2010.  What should have been an opening to score more goals and put the game away instead led to Antigua scoring just five minutes later, and making the night extremely tough on the USMNT.

You would think with 68% of possession during the game, the US would have won 3-0 or 4-0.  This was not the case.  Despite dominating the possession game, bad first touches and the feistiness of Antigua got the better of the US for much of the match.  Add pouring rain and gusty winds into the fold and all of a sudden you had a match where the ball was flying every which way.  Though it kept looking like the USMNT would eventually pick up a game winner, around the 80 minute mark, you could tell the crowd at Fado was starting to lose hope, thinking that the match would end in a lackluster draw.

That was until the 90th minute, the last minute of the match, when a one-time cross from Alan Gordon found the head of guess who?  Eddie Johnson.  The crowd went wild as they realized the US had just picked up an unlikely victory.  This is why, without a shadow of a doubt, Eddie Johnson is the Philly Sports Live Man of the Match.  Two very big goals helped lead the United States to a much needed victory.  With his performance, it’s almost a sure thing you will see him up front again this Tuesday when the USMNT takes on Guatemala.

The importance of the three points the US picked up tonight cannot be overstated.  Going into the match this Tuesday against a tough Guatemala team with those points is a huge plus.  Jermaine Jones, who was already sitting on a yellow card, will not be eligible to play in this Tuesday’s match after picking up another yellow this evening, picking up an automatic one game suspension.  Coverage of the USMNT/Guatemala match live from LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.  As always, Philly Sports Live will have live, up-to-the-minute tweets via @JulianB_PSL.