The U.S. men's national team is on to the Copa America Centenario semifinals after a hard fought, chaotic 2-1 victory over Ecuador at a raucous CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes scored the goals for the USA, while both teams finished a man down after Antonio Valencia and Jermaine Jones were sent off simultaneously. Michael Arroyo pulled one back for Ecuador in the 74th minute, and Enner Valencia missed a pair of golden chances after that, and the USA advances to play either Argentina or Venezuela in the semifinals on Tuesday night in Houston. The U.S. will be without Jones, Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood, as all will be suspended because of cards.
Dempsey opened the scoring for the USA in the 22nd minute, heading home off a pass from Jones. Wood did well to hold the ball up and pick out Jones in the attacking third, and Dempsey made no mistake with his header in front of his home MLS fans:
Brad Guzan increased his shutout streak to a sixth straight half by bailing out his teammates at the end of the first half. A giveaway in the midfield afforded Arroyo a golden chance, albeit from a tough angle, but Guzan made the save by his near post:
Chaos ensued in the 53rd minute after Antonio Valencia fouled Bedoya from behind. Valencia was given his second yellow and sent off, but in the post-foul fracas, Jones pushed Arroyo in the face and was handed a straight red card. Moments after, Wood saw yellow, his second of the tournament:
With the match 10-v-10, Zardes extended the USA's lead. After a strong run from Wood, Matt Besler crossed for Zardes, who headed it into Dempsey's path. Dempsey then crossed (or shot) toward the far post, and Zardes tapped it home in the 65th minute:
Ecuador pulled one back in the 74th minute through Arroyo, who fired home from 18 yards on a designed free kick routine. The goal was the first conceded by the USA since James Rodriguez scored a penalty at the end of the first half in the opening match of the tournament:
Enner Valencia had two great chances to tie it soon after, missing clear headers at the front of Guzan's goal:
Something else of note from throughout the match is U.S. star Michael Bradley, who paid a touching tribute to the victims of the Orlando shootings by donning a rainbow-colored captain's armband:
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