The United States took a step closer to the Copa America Centenario final after they edged past Ecuador in their quarter-final at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes scored for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men while Michael Arroyo grabbed a goal for Ecuador.
It was a spirited performance by the United States in front of their home fans as they beat Ecuador 2-1 on Thursday. Dempsey opened the scoring for the hosts in the 21st minute, while Zardes netted another in the second half to double his side’s advantage. Arroyo scored late on for the team in yellow, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation. The feisty encounter also had its unpleasant moments, with two players from either team receiving a red card.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 17, 2016
With a semifinal berth on the line, both teams went for the kill from the opening whistle. It was the United States who drew first blood as their prolific attacker Clint Dempsey headed home a peach of a ball played by Jermaine Jones to give his side the lead in the 21st minute.
The United States held on to their slender one-goal cushion as the half drew to a close despite a late onslaught by Ecuador.
In the 52nd minute, the intensity went up a notch as there was a coming together between Ecuador player Antonio Valencia and the United States’ Alejandro Bedoya. The Manchester United player, who was already cautioned in the first period, received another yellow for the tackle. In a shocking turn of events, United States’ goal provider Jones appeared to have said something after the sending off which saw him receive a straight red card.
Zardes’ 65th minute strike gave the United States a comfortable two-goal lead to hold on to until the final whistle. Ecuador midfielder Arroyo scored one in the 74th minute sparking hopes of a comeback, but it wasn’t to be, as Jurgen Klinsmann’s US side made it to the semi-final of the Copa America Centenario. The hosts will now take on the winners of the Argentina vs Venenzuela quarter-final in the next round.
After the match, a very animated Jurgen Klinsmann criticised the fourth official for his handling of the incident involving Jermaine Jones. “Unfortunately we lost Jermaine for that incident, which is an absolute joke because it was right there and the fourth official made that decision. Not the referee,” the German is quoted as saying by Fox Sports. “The referee didn’t see it. He followed the advice of the fourth official out there and it’s a disgrace.”
Here’s how the game played out on Twitter:
Everyone talking about a rigged NBA playoff system when the USA just moved on to the semi finals of a HUGE tournament!! #USAvECU
— Matthew Massengill (@Ambrosem22) June 17, 2016
#USAvECU is you ever hear someone say soccer is boring just slap them and say, did you see that game verse ECU
— Soccer Totals (@PicksCs) June 17, 2016
Officially coined: The Battle In Seattle #USAvECU
— Avi Creditor (@AviCreditor) June 17, 2016
— Heather Mitts (@heathermitts) June 17, 2016
— ✈ Ruben N Musca ✈ (@TehRubenDC) June 17, 2016
— AO Philly Chapter (@AOPhillyChapter) June 17, 2016
Such a great win for the US, when EVERYONE had counted them out before the Cup…Messi next! #USAvECU
— mark mcgrath (@mark_mcgrath) June 17, 2016
This changes a lot about my Friday 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #USAvECU
— Arielle Castillo (@ariellec) June 17, 2016
Breaking: Klinsmann offered lifetime contract, given permission to block the entirety of Twitter. #USAvECU
— Richard Farley (@richardfarley) June 17, 2016
— Orel Fargas (@OrelFargas) June 17, 2016
Good lord this game is giving me a heart attack. #USAvECU
— Kathryn (@Kath_Dono) June 17, 2016
Hide your players, your fans, your coaches, this ref is ejecting the whole stadium #USAvECU
— DC_SCOTT (@Wolfman_Scott) June 17, 2016
This is the moment when people from USA realizes that real football is the most beautiful sport in the world #USAVECU
— timmy o’toole (@la_cachaza) June 17, 2016
Man what a game! So proud of this team! Semifinals and Houston here we come! Seattle thank you for creating an amazing atmosphere!
— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 17, 2016
— Perry Kitchen (@PerryKitchen23) June 17, 2016
On to the semis!!🇺🇸🇺🇸 and the Cavs forced game 7💪🏀 I have to say, today was a good day!!
— Ethan Horvath (@HorvathEthan) June 17, 2016
— Aron Jóhannsson (@aronjo20) June 17, 2016