Game two was the headliner: USA vs El Salvador.
The teams traded yellow cards midway through the first half and each team had a few close chances early, but the back of the net wasn’t hit until the 41st minute. Omar Gonzalez knocked in header off a rebound to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Only four minutes later, Eric Lichaj got a great pass from Clint Dempsey and then he put the ball right between the legs of El Salvador goalie Derby Carrillo. The USA now had a 2-0 lead.
El Salvador was able to get a few good chances on net, but Tim Howard came up huge for the Americans to ensure the 2-0 victory. The U.S. moved onto the Semi-finals to face Costa Rica.
USA had twelve shots to El Salvador’s nine, but the shots on goal were 8-3 USA. There were a lot of fouls in the game with some heated exchanges. Ball possession belonged to USA 56% of the time compared to El Salvador’s 44%. Pass accuracy also belonged to the USA 90% to 86%. Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore both led the USA with three shots and all three of Altidore’s shots were on target.
The teams walking onto the field
Team USA celebrating their first goal
Two of the four Gold Cup Quarterfinal games were played in Philadelphia. I had the day off so a work buddy and I made it down to the game to check them out. The first game was Costa Rica vs Panama.
There were a few close chances in the first half, but nothing was able to get to the back of the net. David Ramirez got a yellow card for Costa Rica in the 21st minute. Panama made their three substitutions between the 58th and 70th minutes. Costa Rica made one in the 65th and 76th minutes. Just a minute later, Costa Rica scored on an own goal by Anibal Godoy. Godoy tried to clear a rebound over the net and instead, put it right past his own goaltender. A late substitution by Costa Rica slowed down Panama and sealed the 1-0 victory.
Costa Rica led ball possession 54% to 46%, although Panama outshot them 13-9. Each team had seven of their shots on target. Costa Rica had a lot more fouls and Panama was 85% accurate on passes, while Costa Rica was only 77%, but in the end, Costa Rica came away the winners.
The teams heading onto the field
Getting ready to start the match