USA-ECUADOR EXPRESS: June 16 in Seattle
USA 2 Ecuador 1.
Goals: Dempsey 22, Zardes 65; Arroyo 74. Red
USA -- Jones 52; Ecuador -- A.Valencia 52. Att.:
The USA opened up a 2-0 lead on Ecuador with goals by Clint Dempsey
, then rode out the final minutes after Ecuador got a goal back to win, 2-1, and move into the semifinals of the Copa Centenario.
A goal conceded in the 75th minute ended
the USA’s Centenario shutout streak at 303 minutes but Ecuador could not get the second goal.
In the semifinals, the USA will play either Argentina or Venezuela, which play on
Saturday. U.S. Player Ratings: Starters RATING PLAYER (TEAM) GP/G
6 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG),
Held his ground to deny Michael Arroyo from a sharp angle in first-half stoppage time then claimed a cross in traffic to kill off the threat. Handled all of this duties well, kept his
defenders tuned in, and didn’t have a chance to stop the goal. Came flying off his line to grab a ball with Arroyo in pursuit. 6 Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 34/0.
Stepped into the left-back slot so Johnson could move over to the right side. Lofted a great back post ball that led to the second goal. Held his corner secure for most of the game and also connected
with a few short passes that relieved pressure. 6 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 44/4.
An overall good game teetered when Ecuador forced its way back into the match. He and
Brooks lost track of Enner Valencia in the final minutes but weren’t punished. Beaten by ball over his head to Valencia, who headed over the crossbar.
6 John Brooks
(Hertha Berlin/GER), 25/3.
His ball up the left wing set up the scoring sequence on second U.S. goal and again he was an invaluable defensive presence, getting in tackles and heading balls
clear. Fought through fatigue in the final minutes but managed to finish out the match. 5 Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), 47/2.
Kept his flank secure most of the
time and didn’t allow Ecuador much space. Lost a duel with Montero near the byline that might have been costly late in the first half, and lost track of him twice when he crossed balls that
Enner Valencia headed wide. Thwarted him with a well-timed tackle in the 84th minute.
5 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 119/15.
Played a solid hour or so, faded a bit in
the late stages when Americans lost their foothold in central midfield. Hit too many intercepted passes in his own half of the field. 6 Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 64/4.
Hit great first-time cross that Dempsey headed home for first goal. Marshaled a resilient defensive effort and was a bit unlucky to be sent off for pushing Arroyo in the face
. 5 Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), 52/2.
Dispossessed by Mina on a break when teammates
were open the middle minutes after fluffing a great feed from Dempsey. Gave away free kick that Ecuador turned into its goal. Worked hard and contributed at both ends of the field but will miss
semifinal with second caution of the competition. 7 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 29/6. Played setup man and finisher on the
by heading a cross to Dempsey and tapping in the return pass. Played well defensively until the final minutes when Arroyo ran right by him into the penalty area and was stopped by
Brooks. 6 Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER), 23/6.
Contributed another strong display of heart and workrate. Was wide open on the play where Dempsey set up Bedoya instead. Played
the ball that Besler chipped into the middle for Jones to chip. Stupidly took a needless caution that rules him out of the semifinal. 7 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) 129/52. Snap header opened the scoring
, put another shot on frame that required a decent save, slipped nice ball that Bedoya failed to put away,
pushed ball across the goalmouth that Zardes banged home for the winner. TRIVIA.
The USA posted a knockout win for the first
time in a non-Concacaf competition since beating Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Its only other wins came against Mexico in the 1995 Copa America quarterfinals and 2002 World Cup round of 16. Substitutes 4 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 56/1.
Struggled to match the pace of the game but plugged a few holes in the middle. NR Graham Zusi
(Sporting Kansas City), 39/5.
Ran a couple of balls out of pressure in final minutes. NR Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United) 6/1.
Helped nail down the victory
June 16 in Seattle
USA 2 Ecuador 1.
Goals: Dempsey 22, Zardes 65; Arroyo 74. USA --
Cameron, Brooks, Besler; Bradley, Jones, Bedoya (Zusi 81); Zardes (Birnbaum 90+4), Dempsey (Beckerman 75), Wood. Ecuador --
Dominguez, Mina, Erazo, Paredes (J.Ayovi 82), W.Ayovi, Arroyo,
Gruezo (Ramirez 72), Noboa (Gaibor 62), Montero, A.Valencia, E.Valencia. Yellow Cards:
USA -- Wood 52, Bedoya 73, Guzan 84; Ecuador -- A.Valencia 37, A.Valencia 52, Paredes 64.
USA -- Jones 52; Ecuador -- A.Valencia 52. Referee:
Wilmar Roldan (Colombia). Att.:
(Ratings: 1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)