US gets past determined El Salvador 2-0

Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017 11:26 PM by Shane Barrow
US gets past determined El Salvador 2-0

Definitely not a work of art, but in a knockout match a win is a win.  The United States got past a determined El Salvador side 2-0 Wednesday in Philadelphia to book their place in the 2017 Gold Cup semifinal.  The US will now travel to Texas to face rivals Costa Rica who earlier in the evening slipped past Panama 1-0 thanks to an own goal.

The quarterfinal match was in question early on as El Salvador took the field with ideas on winning.  They pushed the Americans into mistakes and could have had an early lead.  The US got their legs under them and began to match the enthusiasm of their determined opponents.  A set piece would provide the break through in the 42nd minute.  A well placed free kick from Michael Bradley found the run of Omar Gonzalez who flicked his header past the helpless Derby Carrillo in the Costa Rica goal.  A quality set piece goal for sure.

Things went from bad to worse for El Salvador when the US doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime.  A nice turn and slip pass from Clint Dempsey freed Eric Lichaj who fired through the legs of Carrillo for the rapid fire 2-0 lead.  It was the 1st career international goal for Lichaj. In the span of the final five minutes of the first half El Salvador wasted a solid performance and lost the game in one fell swoop.

The second half was wide open with both teams going close on several occasions.  After numerous chances, neither side were able to find the net in the final 45 minutes of play though. The US was too sloppy in possession and were also caught in transition on several other occasions.  A sloppy performance, but maybe not terribly surpising with the new additions added this week. The team will need a much better performance in the Saturday semifinal at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Costa Rica will present a much more talented opponent.