A 3–2 penalty shootout victory over Canada completed the USA’s Gold Cup semi-final run. In addition to comeback qualities, the favorite also needed a bit of luck.
Defending USA in the semifinals on penalties: keeper Matt Turner.
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Both teams went into the knockout rounds with one change compared to the last game of the group stage: for the USA, Roldan (Bank) was replaced in offense by Franke-born Kresel, playing for Canada’s Vittoria Fraser (Bank).
Knockout for assistant referees
The game began with a long interruption: after 60 seconds of play, Canadian defender Miller tried to come out of the sideline, but hit the ball hard in the face of an assistant referee. Then guide in the cabin. Ten minutes had passed before the fourth official took over on the touchline and restarted play.
The game was tied when the ball rolled again. The US had some more possession, but neither side had clear chances for long. Only in extra time in the first half did the favorites get lucky twice: first, Reynolds missed his own goal by mere centimeters (45+3).
Later, after a handball by Robinson in the US penalty area, Canada could have taken a penalty, but despite VAR intervention, the Mexican referee decided against the penalty decision (45+7).
Vitoria opposes local hero Vasquez
After the break, the Americans had clear-cut chances, even if clear-cut chances were few and far between early on. However, with the first changes, the game became a little more open. Puccio forced Canada’s keeper St. Clair to make the first save (68′), Joker and MLS leaders FC Cincinnati’s local hero Vasquez crossed the goal moments later (75′).
In the 88th minute, Vasquez headed in a Jones cross to make it 1-0. The result? not at all! Canada were awarded a penalty this time after another clumsy handball by Robinson in their own penalty area, which Vitoria converted to make it 1-1 in injury time (90+3). This sent the game into overtime.
Then comes the turner – a wild extension
And then it went back and forth. First, Canada’s Russell-Rowe shot over the goal (94′), while Miaska on the other hand forced the St. Clair goalkeeper to make a brilliant save with a header (104′). Shortly after the start of the second half of extra time, Schaffelburg scored with a low solo shot to make it 2-1 (109th). But this time it was America who countered quickly – luckily: because a Buzio shot was again parried by the strong St. Clair, but the ball bounced back from teammate Kennedy into the Canadian goal (114′).
A renewed tie finally ensured a penalty shootout for the semi-finals: here the USA eventually won. Thanks to Arsenal keeper Turner, who saved the first two Canadian penalties (from Vitoria and Fraser) and set the stage for the breakthrough.
In Thursday’s semifinal, the United States will face Panama, who had already beaten Qatar 4-0 on Saturday (local time). Bell (local time) scored a 1-0 win over Guatemala in the second semi-final between Mexico and Jamaica on Sunday.
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