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Dempsey Shines As USA Beat Ecuador 2-1 To Reach Copa America Semis

dempsey

An early goal from Dempsey followed by one from Zardes sealed a spot for in the semi-final as they beat 2-1 in the Centenario quarter-final clash at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday.

Both the teams looked for an early lead and threw more bodies forward right from the kick-off.

USA dominated the possession and pushed the tempo right from the start. They played out wide and Wood took charge down the flanks as he made some encouraging runs off the ball up to the front to cause tremors in the Ecuador back-line.

Ecuador looked for chances of a counter-attack as Enner Valencia, Montero and Antonio Valencia focussed more on picking each other into the area through crosses down the flanks and decisive long balls through the middle.

Clint Dempsey put USA ahead in the 22nd minute with a header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Jones whipped in a first-time cross to find Dempsey at the centre, who fired in a header at the near post to beat the goalkeeper.

USA

Going ahead early in the game boosted the confidence of the hosts and they almost scored minutes later from another Dempsey strike at the far post, but the goalkeeper managed to control it.

Ecuador responded well in the 29th minute but an acrobatic display from Brooks at the back helped USA to hold on to their lead. Juan Carlos whipped in a cross to pick Arroyo in the area, who launched a venomous strike at goal but Brooks threw his body to ground to block Arroyo’s strike.

USA had a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the 43rd minute. A clinical counter-attack picked Bedoya inside the danger area but his finish was not up to the mark as his shot went straight down to the keeper’s hands.

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Ecuador almost scored the equaliser in the dying minutes of the first half but a spectacular save from USA goalkeeper Brad Guan denied Arroyo in the bottom right corner

Ecuador looked desperate in search of an equaliser and stepped up their game after the restart. They almost scored in the 49th minute when Valencia whipped the ball into the danger area. Enner Valencia rushed in to meet the delivery as he tried to launch a header but he could’t get enough on his header to pose any threat to. Guzan.

Both the teams were reduced to 10-men in the 52nd minute. Antonio Valencia picked up his second yellow for kicking out at Bedoya. Jones was shown the red card for lashing out at Arroyo’s face.

Zardes scored the second for USA in the 65th minute. Zardes won a header inside the box and he directed it to Dempsey. The striker rolled the ball back into the centre for Zardes to tap it in from close range.

Ecuador held on to their nerves and looked more threatening in the dying minutes. They enjoyed more possession and dominated through the flanks. The aerial route seemed to be working for them. They started pumping crosses into the box for Valencia, Arroyo and Jamie Ayovi as they desperately looked for an equaliser. However Brooks and Cameron were successful in blocking their movements.

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Ecuador responded furiously, pulling a goal back through Michael Arroyo’s thunderous low strike in the 74th minute.

Enner Valencia had two crucial chances to level the score within the space of a minute, but directed both of his headers wide.

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