BALTIMORE – The United States Men’s National Team advances to the semifinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup after easily defeating El Salvador with a score of 5-1. With goals from Clarence Goodson, Tijuana Xolos’ midfielder Joe Corona, Eddie Johnson, Landon Donovan, and Mikkel Diskerud the USMNT got pass El Salvador, for the central Americans Rodolfo Zelaya scored via a penalty kick.
The home side began controlling the possession of the ball and completely dominating the game. Their reward came in the 21st minute of play when Clarence Goodson tapped in a Landon Donovan ground cross after reaching the byline in a play produced from a short corner kick.
Club Tijuana’s Joe Corona made it 2-0 in the 29th minute. Corona received a short pass just outside of the box; he cut inside leaving a defender behind and had a shot to the lower corner of the goal to score his second goal of this tournament.
Just as it seemed USMNT would control the entire game and El Salvador could not fina way back, Rodolfo Zelaya took the ball and dribbled into the box leaving two defenders in his way, it seemed he wasted an opportunity to shoot when he tried to evade the third defender. But DaMarcus Beasley obstructed Zelaya’s run.
Center referee doubted for a few seconds, but decided to award a penalty kick to El Salvador. Even though the rules say that an obstruction foul should be penalized with an indirect free kick at the spot of the foul (even if it is inside of the penalty box). Rodolfo Zelaya stepped up and calmly chipped the ball down the center of the goal to pull El Salvador within one, and make the many Salvadorians in the stands finally jump and scream.
The equalizing goal was close for El Salvador in the early minutes of the second half. Once again Rodolfo Zelaya took the ball in the 48th minute and dribbled around two defenders, he then laid the ball off to his teammate Kevin Santamaria. Santamaria’s shot went well high over the cross bar wasting the good opportunity.
Not even 30 seconds was Eddie Johnson on the field after having come on as a sub in the 60th minute when he headed in a Landon Donovan corner kick to make the score 3-1.
Landon Donovan would put the game to be in the 77th minute, Eddie Johnson flicked on with his head a long pass, Donovan gave chase to the ball and rounded the goalkeeper and shot the ball into an empty net to make the score 4-1.
In the 84th minute once again Landon Donovan made his presence left with his third assist of the night. Donovan once again dribbled to the byline and sent in a cross to where Mikkel Diskerud headed in the fifth and final goal.
USMNT now awaits a rival between Costa Rica and Honduras to face off for a ticket to the final of the 2013 Gold Cup.