Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured) and the USA will meet Panama CONCACAF Gold Cup match for third place on July 25, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Mexsport)
ATLANTA -- For someone who made his living by filling the net on a regular basis, United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not have to be reminded of the reason as to why his team lost to Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals on Wednesday night.
Actually, the lack of them at the Georgia Dome.
"We had enough chances to put this game away," he said of the 2-1 setback. "The luck was not with us maybe. Maybe we were not clinical enough. There was a lot of good that we saw. It was the goals that matter."
The Reggae Boyz scored twice within a five-minute span in the first half and held off a second-half rally by the Americans, who suffered a rare defeat to a Caribbean team on home soil.
It was only the second time that the U.S. fell to a Caribbean side at home, the first being a 1-0 defeat to Haiti in San Diego, California, on May 11, 1969.
"Obviously not the result we wanted: two set-piece goals," goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. "When we give a team like Jamaica a chance to stay in the game, they did well to hold on. At the other end, we probably could’ve taken one or two other chances, but that’s football.
"At times we combined really well, created tons of chances. You can call it what you want. It’s about scoring more goals and we didn’t do it."
So, instead of playing for a second consecutive Gold Cup crown in Philadelphia on Sunday, the U.S. will meet Panama in the third-place match in nearby Chester, Pennsylvania, a day earlier. It also meant the 2013 champion will have play the winner of this year’s final -- Mexico or Jamaica – in a playoff for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Klinsmann was disappointed with the result, but not in the way the team played in the second half, trying to dig itself out of a two-goal deficit.
"I cannot complain about the performance of the team," he said. "We kept pushing, pushing, pushing. They hit the wall and went through it and kept going until the end."