Monday, November 20, 2017

Costa Rica 0 United States 2: Dempsey equals Donovan record in win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jul 2017

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Clint Dempsey scored a record-equalling goal to help the United States reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup final after a 2-0 win over Costa Rica.

Dempsey set up Jozy Altidore for the game’s opening goal in the 72nd minute at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.

His clever 25-yard free-kick then saw him draw level with Landon Donovan on a record 57 goals for USA.

Bruce Arena’s men were deserved winners as they reached the decider, in which they will face either Mexico or Jamaica on Wednesday.

Dempsey was dropped to the bench for the clash as Arena made five changes to the team that beat El Salvador 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

Eric Lichaj, Justin Morrow, Matt Hedges and Gyasi Zardes also made way, with Jorge Villafana, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Kellyn Acosta and Jordan Morris starting.

Costa Rica were unchanged from the team that edged past Panama 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

USA almost made the perfect start as Altidore and Morris exchanged passes, the latter hitting the post just seconds into the clash.

The tournament hosts had their second chance in the 15th minute, but Altidore decided to pass the ball back into the middle of the box instead of taking a shot himself. Acosta then hit a right-footed shot high and wide to the right.

Marco Urena tried to put Costa Rica on the board in the 37th minute after streaking down the middle of the field, but his shot was blocked by a charging Tim Howard.

USA continued to look the more likely and they almost struck seven minutes into the second half.

With Costa Rica goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton off his line, an incoming cross for Altidore was too high, and Darlington Nagbe was unable to capitalise afterwards.

But USA would finally take the lead in the 72nd minute, thanks to Dempsey and Altidore.

Dempsey did brilliantly to find space before releasing Altidore, who finished well in a one-on-one with Pemberton.

Victory was sealed through the record-equalling goal from Dempsey, the forward smartly placing a free-kick under a jumping wall and into the bottom corner to send USA into the final.

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