USA, the host are through to the semifinal

USA, the host are through to the semifinal in Copa America Centenario. USA beat Ecuador 2-1 in their quarterfinal fixture to seal a berth in semi-final. This is only the USA’s fourth ever win in the knockout stage of a major tournament. The previous three: the semi-final win over Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup, the round of 16 triumph over Mexico at the 2002 World Cup and their victory on penalties over Mexico in the 1995 Copa América quarterfinal.

USMNT has reached to semifinal stage for the 2nd time in history of Copa America. They reached to semi-final in 1995 by defeating Mexico, and they did it once again by defeating Ecuador. The CONCACAF nation has proved their solidarity in Copa America Centenario by defeating Ecuador which was a tense match.


Clint Dempsey scored his 52nd international goal, his third goal of the tournament, early in the first-half to settle home nerves. Then, he crossed for Gyasi Zardes to roll in the killer second on 65 minutes. The LA Galaxy forward’s goal was crucial in ensuring a match which threatened to boil over was kept just out of Ecuador’s reach as heads began to get lost in a red mist. Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia and Jermaine Jones were both sent-off in an unseemly, crazy incident five minutes after half-time which ratcheted up the intensity levels at a raucous CenturyLink Field.

Both teams were a man down and they played throughout the second half with ten men. Ecuador, for the most part, were disappointing and really only came alive once the terrier-like Michael Arroyo had pulled one back on 74 minutes. All of a sudden, the US looked fallible and were ultimately thankful for the wastefulness of West Ham’s Enner Valencia who spurned two gilt-edged chances.

The match could have gone on penalties if Enner Valencia would have capitalize on his chances. After the Ecuador goal, it was all Ecuador who were marched forward and created chances in last 15 minutes but history was written for USA second semi-final entry in Copa America.


USA will be missing their key players in Bedoya, Jones and Wood, when they will play their semifinal match. Argentina or Venezuela will be their opponent in semi-final, and it is most likely Argentina will march ahead from their quarterfinal game against Venezuela. USA have already defeated Argentina in 1995 Copa America, to become group winners and that confidence led them to 1995 semifinal.

USA, once again will be up against Argentina and Argentina would like to humiliate them as USMNT did in 1995 Copa America to Argentina. Argentina was defending champion then, and USA defeated them 3-0. It was a shocking game for Argentina and surprise win for USMNT. If they will do it again, it will be a miracle because right now Argentina is no.1 in world and USA will be playing them at home. There cannot be a better way to reach final of Copa America and may be lifting the trophy.

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