[USA-HONDURAS] The USA extended its win streak record to 10 games with a 3-1 victory of Honduras in the Gold Cup semifinals Wednesday in Arlington, Texas, where red-hot Landon Donovan scored twice and assisted on Eddie Johnson's goal.
THE GOALS. The opening goal came in the 12th minute when defender Clarence Goodson sent a low pass down the center of the field to Donovan near the center circle. He one-touched a pass into the path of streaking Johnson, who dribbled into the penalty area and rocketed high into the net from 16 yards.
The USA pressured the Hondurans in their own half and combined passes well when they won the ball, creating several more chances. But the second goal came after goalkeeper Nick Rimando launched a goal kick upfield in the 26th minute. Johnson flicked on Rimando's mortar to Alejandro Bedoya, who beat Juan Csrlos Garcia to the ball at the edge of the penalty area and tapped it over Bryan Beckeles’ head to Donovan. After controlling the ball with his chest, Donovan poked it past goalkeeper Donis Escober from nine yards.
Honduras pulled within a goal in the 52nd minute when Nery Medina powered home a header from eight yards off Marvin Chavez’s free kick cross, but the USA responded within a minute to make it 3-1. Again it was Bedoya setting up Donovan, who kneed the ball into an empty net from three yards after Bedoya met Goodson’s chip from the halfway line at the corner of the goal area and tapped it to Donovan.
DONOVAN WATCH. In Sunday’s quarterfinal 5-1 win over El Salvador, Donovan scored once and helped create the other four goals. His two goals and assist against Honduras give him 56 goals and 56 assists in 150 U.S. games. In his six games back with the USA since his sabbatical from soccer, Donovan has scored seven goals and made nine assists. His five goals and seven assists at the Gold Cup are both more than the three goals and six assists he has for the LA Galaxy in MLS play.
BEDOYA SERVICE. Despite Joe Corona’s solid performance and fine goal against El Salvador, Klinsmann started Alejandro Bedoya in right midfield and was rewarded with two assists. Two other changes from Sunday’s lineup: Johnson starting up front instead of Chris Wondolowski and Stuart Holden in central midfielder in place of Mix Diskerud.
U.S. DOMINANT. Honduras coach Luis Suarez said, "They beat us in just about every aspect of the game. After five games, the United States has proven to be the most complete in the [tournament]."
THE DISMISSAL. That referee Walter Quesada showed no yellows to Honduras despite some persistent fouling, particulary on midfielder Jose Torres, that had U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann fuming on the sidelines several times. Quesada dismissed Klinsmann in the 87th minute by after he spiked the ball that went out of bounds following a pair of fouls in quick succession on DaMarcus Beasley. Klinsmann awaits a decision from the Gold Cup's disciplinary committee on whether he'll be suspended for the final.
THE FINAL. The USA will face Panama, which beat Mexico, 2-1, in their semifinal, in Sunday's Gold Cup final in Chicago (Fox & Univision, 4 pm ET). It will be a rematch of the 2005 Gold Cup final, in which the USA beat Los Canaleros on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie. The USA last won the biennial regional crown in 2007 with a 2-1 win over Mexico in Chicago. El Tri beat the USA in the 2009 and 2011 finals.
July 24 in Arlington, Texas
USA 3 Honduras 1.Goals: E.Johnson 11, Donovan 27, 53; Medina 52.
USA --Rimando; Parkhurst, Besler, Goodson, Beasley, Beckerman (Diskerud, 67), Holden; Bedoya, Donovan (Wondolowski, 72), Torres (Shea, 67); E.Johnson
Honduras --Escobar; Beckeles, O.Chavez, Medina, Garcia; Delgado, Claros, Lopez (J.Palacios, 46); Najar, Rojas (R.Martinez, 69), Reyes (M.Chavez, 46)
Yellow Card:USA -- E.Johnson 90+2.
Referee: Walter Quesada (Costa Rica)
Donovan's first strike:
Donovan's second strike: