News Matches

United States v El Salvador Live Commentary, 7/19/17

FT
2 - 0
USA
SLV
O. González (41)
E. Lichaj (45+2)
Lincoln Financial Field

Commentary

That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
El Salvador matched USA blow for blow for 90 minutes in terms of scoring chances, but it was the clinical nature of Bruce Arena's side that sees them through to the semi-final in the end as late first-half goals from Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj set up a date with Costa Rica in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.
FULL-TIME: UNITED STATES 2-0 EL SALVADOR.
The added time is proving nothing more than a formality at this point - an extra few minutes for these fans to see the US off to the semi-final. El Salvador have hardly had a touch of the ball in the last few minutes as the hosts pass it around aimlessly at the back looking to wind down the clock.
There will be three minutes added on at the end of this match.
Into the final minutes of the 90 and USA are putting in a professional display to see this one out. They had some nervy moments over the course of this second half, but for El Salvador it's a case of what could have been as they failed to capitalise on their chances and are denied a first semi-final appearance in the Gold Cup because of it.
C. Pontius
D. Nagbe
United States
Bruce Arena's final change sees Chris Pontius replace Nagbe.
STAT: USA are unbeaten in 21 all-time matches against El Salvador (W17 D4).
H. Alas
N. Bonilla
El Salvador
Bonilla gives way with El Salvador's third and final change, as Harold Alas comes on for his fourth international cap at the age of 27.
B. Tamacas
Yellow Card
El Salvador
Another booking for El Salvador as frustration is becoming a bit of a theme for them in the latter stages of this second half, this one to Tamacas.
H. Romero
Yellow Card
El Salvador
Romero becomes the third player booked on El Salvador this evening as he lunges into a challenge on Dempsey and catches the striker in the ribs with his elbow.
The crowd is in full voice as they serenade the US through to the final whistle. This is the last game Philadelphia will see, with the Americans heading to Arlington, Texas for their semi-final, before the final in Santa Clara, should they get through Costa Rica.
E. Sánchez
D. Pineda
El Salvador
El Salvador's second change sees Agula's Edwin Sanchez replace Pineda.
STAT: Clint Dempsey needs one goal to tie Landon Donovan (57) for first on the US’ all-time scoring list.
Full credit to El Salvador for keeping their fighting spirit, but too many chances have come and gone without them taking advantage, and their hopes are slim now as a result. USA respond through Dempsey, who offloads a lovely strike from 25 yards, but Carrillo does expertly to parry at full-stretch.
HOW CRUCIAL WAS THAT?! Bonilla and Oscar Ceren link up cleverly on the break and the latter gets on the end of the one-two, but Howard parries. Pressure stays on and Zelaya looks to pounce on the loose ball, but Lichaj lunges in at the vital moment to clear!
K. Acosta
G. Zardes
United States
A second change made here by USA as Kellyn Acosta comes on to replace Zardes.
The match is being played at a standstill now as we enter the final 20 minutes. El Salvador's belief seems to be fading, and you can understand why, as USA suck the life out of the match with each passing minute spent in possession.
STAT: USA are unbeaten in 11 matches since Bruce Arena returned as coach (W6 D5).
J. Morris
P. Arriola
United States
Bruce Arena goes to his bench for the first time and brings Jordan Morris on at the expense of Arriola.
HEADED OVER! What was Gonzalez doing there?! He's in position to clear Oscar Ceren's cross in from the right, but inexplicably lets its bounce past him and Pineda is there to take advantage, but he can't hit the target with his header from six yards!
Altidore gets an awkward shot off from a tight angle following a clever set-piece, and it almost seemed to catch Carrillo by surprise as the keeper makes the save with his legs up against the near post, but didn't look all that prepared for the effort to be on target.
The winner of this match will take on Costa Rica in the quarter-final. USA look poised to go on and win this thing, barring an unprecedented surge from El Salvador, which would set up a tantilising clash with Costa Rica, who beat them 4-0 back in November in Jurgen Klinsmann's last game in charge.
A. Larín
Yellow Card
El Salvador
Cooler heads need to prevail here. El Salvador are growing frustrated and that culminates in their second booking of the night here, this one to Larin.
CHAOS! Another great chance for El Salvador to halve the deficit as Zelaya is sprung into acres of space down the right, but he passes up the chance to shoot with his weaker left foot, instead trying to cut onto his right, but by then Gonzalez is around with cover and manages to snuff it out!
Ó. Cerén
G. Mayén
El Salvador
El Salvador make their first change of the night as Oscar Ceren replaces Mayen.
Smart intervention from Carrillo! The keeper does very well to dive out and parry a Zardes cross that looked destined to fall for Dempsey in the centre. Pressure stays on and Arriola is sprung down the right by a delightful ball from Bradley, but his cross is acrobatically head behind by Mancia!
STAT: This is the third meeting between the two sides in the quarter-final at the Gold Cup. USA won the previous two by a combined 9-1, including a 5-1 victory in 2013, the last year they won the Gold Cup.
Everything but the finish! Great work from Pineda, who shows some lovely skill on the ball to prance beyond a few defenders into an open pocket of space for a shot. He has Howard at his mercy, but gets the accuracy all wrong as he misses by a few feet at the near post.
Hedges is caught out as he gives away possession at the halfway line, and Zelaya is quickly sprung forward as Gonzalez has some ground to make up to get across. It's a real chance for El Salvador, but one squandered in the end as Zelaya inexplicably opts to shoot from outside the area and lifts his effort over the bar.
Early possession for El Salvador, following another injury delay with Larin on the ground. Bonilla is lucky to escape without a booking, however, after catching Lichaj with a late boot to the shin, and Bradley has some words for him as the two make their way back up the pitch.
Back underway in Philadelphia!
An exciting start to the match produced nothing as the two sides looked poised to head scoreless into the interval before two quick-fire goals from defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj have provided USA with a comfortable lead at the half. El Salvador have played very well, but this may be too big a hole for them to dig themselves out of.
HALF-TIME: UNITED STATES 2-0 EL SALVADOR.
C. Dempsey
Assist
United States
Dempsey picks up the assist, and it's one of the better ones you will see in this tournament. The pass was nothing special, but that was a terrific turn to make it all possible.
E. Lichaj
Goal
United States
USA CRUISING INTO HALF-TIME! Excellent build-up play there, highlighted by a sensational turn from Dempsey and capped off by a sweet finish from Lichaj through the legs of Carrillo on the end of a lovely throughball from the striker.
CLOSE! Altidore makes a strong run off the back shoulder of Romero as he's played in on the left. His strike across goal is saved smartly by Carrillo, who does very well to recover and claim the rebound as well just ahead of Dempsey.
There will be three minutes added on at the end of this first half.
Relief for USA, but it's a crushing blow for El Salvador. They seemed poised to head into the break on level terms, but they have it all to do now against a USA side who really needed that goal to ease the tension both in the side and in this building.
M. Bradley
Assist
United States
Terrific delivery from Toronto FC's Bradley as he placed that in the perfect area, with the ideal pace for it to be attacked.
O. González
Goal
United States
USA HAVE THEIR BREAKTHROUGH! El Salvador switch off in defence, horribly marking from a free-kick as Gonzalez is able to get goalside of Ceren and head home Bradley's cross to open the score! If it wasn't Gonzalez it would have been Dempsey, who was also left seemingly unmarked in the centre.
After such a bright start to the match it really is fizzling out to half-time here. El Salvador will be thrilled with the fact that the game is still scoreless and it should provide them with plenty of reason to be cautiously optimistic regarding their chances of appearing in a first Gold Cup semi-final.
USA is up to 60 per cent possession now for the first time tonight, but the tempo has completely gone from the match in the meantime. Ceren rejoins the play as soon as it gets back underway, but it's stopped again now with Orellana down this time. He's the one who slid into the challenge on Morrow, but he's come out worse for wear.
El Salvador skipper Ceren goes down in midfield claiming a foul on Altidore, and he stays down for a prolonged period as the training staff comes out to attend to him, even though the replays clearly show the striker made no contact with him whatsoever. Puzzling.
STAT: Bruce Arena is one of only two managers to have won the Gold Cup twice (2002 and 2005), along with Bora Milutinovic (USA in 1991 and Mexico in 1996).
Bruce Arena is getting awfully fired up on the touchline and the fourth official goes over to have a word with him. The decision to penalise Hedges for a foul was what pushed him over the edge, but the referee has been very fair thus far, so it's possible his frustrations have more to do with how El Salvador have competed toe-to-toe with his side thus far.
Mayen commits a clumsy foul on Nagbe to the left of the penalty are and that awards the hosts a good chance from the ensuing set-piece. Bradley stands over it and bends in an inviting delivery with plenty of pace, but it's got just too much height on it as Carrillo is able to punch clear.
El Salvador certainly do pack a punch in midfield, and it's hard not to take note of their fitness. Their players have not stopped running since the off, and with so many of them playing together domestically, their understanding and cohesion should not come as such a surprise.
The tempo has slowed a bit, which is to be expected. There's no way what we saw through the first 20 minutes was sustainable. USA are starting to settle in a bit more as they build patiently in attack, but their latest foray forward ends as Altidore is called for a foul on Mancia as he drags the defender down in an attempt to get on the end of a throughball.
STAT: USA has made it to the semi-finals in 12 out of 13 Gold Cups, missing out only in 2000.
D. Nagbe
Yellow Card
United States
Good determination from Ceren who gets to the ball first before being tackled to ground from behind by Nagbe. Bit of a careless challenge from the USA midfielder, who had no real need to be sliding in there. But he has to live with the decision and now has to live the rest of this match on a yellow.
Right at Carrillo! Don't blink, you might miss something! Arriola makes waves down the left and pulls it back for Dempsey who controls, turns and fires a low effort at goal, but it's straight into the arms of the keeper!
I. Mancía
Yellow Card
El Salvador
The first booking of the night is handed to Romero as he shoves Altidore to ground about 10 feet away from the ball to stop him from making a run between the two centre-backs.
OFFSIDE! The crowd erupts as Zardes puts the ball into the back of the net rather clinically after being played through by Dempsey, but he just failed to time his run as the linesman's flag is raised.
Safe hands from Carrillo! The keeper does well to get down to his left to deny Altidore from 10 yards after the striker did very well to control Nagbe's pass in for him.
Some lovely viewing here in the opening stages of the first half. El Salvador are showing now signs of being intimidated or falling back into their shell. They are really going for it, and full credit to them for it, as they have enjoyed a really threatening start, which should provide confidence in spades.
STAT: El Salvador have reached the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup four times in their history, but have never progressed beyond the stage, losing all for matches and being outscored 15-4.
BLOCKED! With bodies packed in atop the six-yard box, El Salvador opt to play a square ball in towards the top of the area for Larin who smacks a first-time effort at goal, but it can't find its way through the sea of bodies!
END TO END ACTION! What a start to proceedings here in Philadelphia! Bruce Arena has a look of disgust on his face as his side come under pressure yet again as a result of their own errors at the back, and it leads to a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area as Hedges takes down Zelaya.
MASSIVE SAVE! The hosts manage their first decent attack of the night as Altidore and Zardes link up, with the latter winning a corner as his cross deflects onto the roof of the net. It bounces around dangerously at the far post and Gonzalez has a whack at it and Dempsey does as well, but Carrillo quite incredibly keeps it out!
Nervy moments from the US in these opening minutes. They have been far from convincing, and much too negative as well, in possession, lacking cohesion in the side. It could very well be attributed to all the new faces in the XI tonight, but they don't have the luxury of taking their time to get into a rhythm.
HOWARD QUICKLY CALLED INTO ACTION! Well that is an absolutely catastrophic piece of defending from Lichaj, who scuffs a backpass straight into the path of Zelaya. The striker pounces and sprints towards goal, with only keeper to beat, but Howard sprints off his line and sticks an arm out to poke the ball free as Zelaya tried to round him!
AND THEY'RE OFF! ? El Salvador get the game belatedly underway, attacking left to right in their white strip, with USA in red and blue.
Eduardo Lara makes just one change to his side from the 1-1 draw with Jamaica, as Alexander Larin comes into the team, replacing Ruben Marroquin at left-back. Chemistry should be high in the El Salvador side, but they will have their hands full today.
Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola are rewarded for their strong showing in the group stage as they man the flanks, ahead of full-backs Eric Lichaj and Justin Morrow. Omar Gonzalez and Matt Hedges are the preferred duo at centre-half, earning their spot ahead of Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Chelsea Matt Miazga.
Bruce Arena has named a completely different side to the one that disposed of Nicaragua 3-0 in their final group match, making a full 11 changes, including all five players the US recalled for the knockout stage. Tim Howard starts in goal, Michael Bradley anchors the same midfield diamond that Darlington Nagbe spearheads, while Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore partner each other up top.
SUBS: Arroyo, Molina, Dominguez, Menjivar, Flores, Burgos, O. Ceren, Garcia, Sanchez, Alas, Villalobos, Marroquin.
EL SALVADOR (4-4-2): Carrillo; Tamacas, Romero, Mancia, Larin; Mayen, D. Ceren, Orellana, Pineda; Bonilla, Zelaya.
SUBS: J. Gonzalez, Miazga, Besler, Pontius, Morris, Corona, Hamid, McCarty, Agudelo, Zusi, Acosta, Villafana.
USA (4-4-2): Howard; Lichaj, Hedges, O. Gonzalez, Morrow; Arriola, Bradley, Nagbe, Zardes; Dempsey, Altidore.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
El Salvador have grown into themselves over the course of the tournament and come into this game with some real confidence having beaten Curacao and drawn Jamaica. They will be heavy underdogs tonight, but could flourish with the pressure off, having never reached a Gold Cup semi-final before.
The fresh faces have combined for a total of 503 caps and 111 international goals, and their experience should prove vital to help pick up the side in the midst of a less than stellar run, drawing Panama in their opener, before struggling to beat semi-pro Martinique and escaping some nervy moments in the win over Nicaragua.
Joining USA for the knockout stage are four players with over 100 caps – Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard – as well as midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who has been a regular for the national side in 2017 prior to the tournament.
Reinforcements are in. That’s the buzz around the US camp in advance of the match, following an uninspiring showing in the group stage, as Bruce Arena has called up a few of his big guns to strengthen the squad as they push for their first Gold Cup title since 2013.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia as the United States host El Salvador in this Gold Cup quarter-final!