Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe won his first international trophy as he helped the U.S. Men's National Team to a dramatic 2-1 win over Jamaica in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final. It was the USMNT's sixth Gold Cup in their history.
Nagbe, who started every match of the Yanks' knockout round games in the tournament, played 89 minutes in the match and was credited with two shots. He also led his side in suffering seven fouls, many in the attacking third, each of which set up dangerous free kick opportunities for the U.S. In fact, it was a foul suffered by Nagbe that led to Jozy Altidore's free kick goal in the 45th minute to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. His skill on the ball was also evident as the U.S. as a team held 73 percent possession advantage while also completing 85 percent of their 577 attempted passes.
For Jamaica, Nagbe's Timbers teammates Darren Mattocks and Alvas Powell both were strongly active throughout the game in looking to equalize. Both started the match, with Powell going the full 90 and Mattocks playing for 89 minutes in the game. In fact, Nagbe and Powell could be seen having a friendly chat as the teams came out for the pregame anthems. And while they may be teammates in Portland, that didn't stop Powell from fouling his opponent at one point.
Mattocks and Powell's speed from the flanks on the counter created chances for the Reggae Boyz as they fought back. Powell was also instrumental in many defensive stops for Jamaica. In the 50th minute, Je-Vaughn Watson scored an equalizer off a corner kick for Jamaica to set up a tense finale.
Example #3. pic.twitter.com/mBAuVCI86b— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) July 27, 2017
The Yanks pressured throughout the second half, Nagbe again helped lead the attack with numerous darting runs in and around the box. Then, in the 88th minute, forward Jordan Morris hammered home the game-winning goal following a mad scramble in the Jamaica box to put the U.S. up to stay at 2-1.
Despite only coming into the U.S. side for the final three games of the tournament, Nagbe's stellar play throughout earned him a spot on the Gold Cup tournament Best XI.