United States 2 El Salvador 0: Hosts Advance To Gold Cup Semis

Arena Makes Six Changes To Gold Cup Roster

The winger latched onto a ball behind the El Salvador backline and finished coolly from 6 yards, but he was judged to be just offside.

However, it was Gonzalez and Lichaj who conquered the evening, the two US defenders scoring the goals that carried the USA into the last four, Gonzalez with a flicked header from a Michael Bradley free-kick in the 41st minute (his third goal in 42 caps for the US after scoring just one in his first 40 appearances), and Lichaj with a sweet left-footed finish in a one v. one situation with El Salvador goalkeeper Derby Carrillo in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. The Americans struggled to string passes together and had some nervy moments at the back. The defender notched his second goal of the tournament (and third in a US jersey) and Bradley tied Cobi Jones for second on the program's all-time assists list at 22.

The remainder of the first half was dominated by a series of niggly fouls as El Salvador frustrated American efforts to impose themselves on the contest. Eric Lichaj doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time.

Again, the US labored against an opponent it was expected to handle fairly easily, especially with the changes made to the roster and lineup. Bradley's tantalizing set piece delivery from the left flank was nodded into the back of the net by Gonzalez, who tallied his second goal in as many Gold Cup matches and the third goal of his global career.

The main target of the abuse was Jozy Altidore.

Dempsey, seeking a 57th worldwide goal which would tie Landon Donovan's all-time US record, saw an excellent bending effort tipped away by Carrillo in the 76th minute.

The good news is that Costa Rica are not likely to resort to the kind of unsettling antics that were on display against El Salvador. It took us 30 minutes to play a little bit. But was also plagued by a propensity to give the ball away. Replays show that Zardes was just onside when he received the ball.

The Americans have won the biannual regional championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean five times since 1991, with their most recent title in 2013.

An unconvincing start saw the hosts given a let-off early on when Lichaj under-hit a back pass to Howard.

3 Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 18/4.

Union midfielder Chris Pontius got an extremely warm reception when he made a three-minute cameo in front of his hometown fans for his fifth cap and third in four Gold Cup games.

Philadelphia Union man Chris Pontius was given a late cameo, replacing Darlington Nagbe in the 87th minute.

The goalmouth tactics of El Salvador during their 2-0 defeat by the US have ruffled feathers in the Altidore household. Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj were the scorers. Lichaj, and Gonzalez in particular, deserved that chance.

Yellow cards: USA - Nagbe 21; El Salvador - Mancia 18, Larin 59, Romero 81.

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