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CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals: US 2-0 Honduras, Mexico 1-1 (5-3PKS) Costa Rica AET

0128136481722002 300x150 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals: US 2 0 Honduras, Mexico 1 1 (5 3PKS) Costa Rica AET

Join us beginning at 6:15pm ET for live commentary from tonight’s CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals: US vs Honduras, and Mexico vs Costa Rica from Chicago’s Soldier Field. Feel free to leave your commentary in the comments section.

Juan Arango, who has provided color commentary for the international omnisport broadcasts of the Gold Cup will be our guest on MLS Talk Podcast #100 which will be taped and released tomorrow.

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Costa Rica got many chances in the second half off the counter, but struggled to convert several golden chances. Guille Franco and Carlos Vela two super skilled European based players were inserted late for Mexico and they made all the difference. Franco’s goal was all Mexico needed to win.

In the last minute of stoppage time, Mexico’s defenders strangely pushed up into midfield allowing a desperate long ball to find Froylan Ledezma who calmly despite the situation beat Memo Ochoa and thus we have extra time.

Franco, recalled by Aguirre on the eve of the Gold Cup could rightfully say “up yours Hugo” to Hugo Sanchez who dropped him after he had featured for Ricardo LaVolpe simply because he was Argentine. Recalled under Eriksson and now under Aguirre, the Villeareal striker still adds a touch of class to the Mexican side.

Costa Rica started the game well.  Andy Herron sets up Alvaro Soborio well but it’s cleared just in time for a corner. Then minutes later the Ticos hit the post and the rebound goes just wide with Memo Ochoa hopelessly out of position.

Right before halftime Gio Dos Santos missed an open net with a shot that went just wide of the far post.

Costa Rica has controlled the first several minutes of this match creating a few good chances.

MEXICO LINEUP: Ochoa, Pinto, Magallon, Juarez, Valenzuela, Torrado, Cstro, Medina, Dos Santos, Sabah, Barrera.

COSTA RICA LINEUP: Navas, Fernandez, Marshall, Delgado, Wallace, Borges, Oviedo, Alonso, Herron, Soborio, Brenes. No CENTANTO

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US LINEUP:  Perkins; Heaps, Goodson, Marshall, Pearce; Holden, Beckerman, Pause, Rogers; Arnaud, Ching (c).

This lineup includes not a single player who faced Honduras in the June 6th qualifier at only one player, Heath Pearce that was in uniform that night for the USA.

HONDURAS LINEUP: Escobar, Norales, Acevedo, Chavez, Medina, Palacios, Valladeres, Meija, Chavez, Costly, Martinez

Costly, Martinez and Norales faced the United States in the June 6th qualifier. Like the US, the bulk of the Honduran “A” team plays in Europe and is unavailable for this competition

NOTES:

Pablo Ramirez and Jesus Brancomontes on the call for both games on Telefutura. Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan on the US-Honduras call for FOX Soccer Channel.

Mexico will be without Israel Martinez tonight.

Michael Parkhurst will be back for the USA tonight.

Jamaican Courtney Campbell who many in the Central American and Mexican press accuse of being a “pro American” official has been assigned to the Honduras-USA game, again. Hmmm……

These two teams met in the 2005 semifinal with the US scoring two late goals (John O’Brien and Oguchi Onyewu) to win 2-1 in a game Honduras dominated until the last 15 minutes.

Second Half

The US applies lots of pressure, and Finally Cooper finishes the game off  with GOAL

Carlo Costly has missed a few good chances here. Without the likes of David Suazo to pair with he’s tried to do too much himself.

Davy Arnaud does well to earn a free kick in minute 70

In the 59th minute, Troy Perkins makes a good save on Norales’ cross.

The US really applying some early second half pressure. By pushing their defenders up Honduras has left huge gaps down the flanks that the US is exploiting.

Holden with a great header on goal but saved.

Rogers taken down in the box but no PK call!

First Half:

Clarence Goodson has scored a ton of goals in Norway in the air in the last year and a half. Now he does it for the US!

Great piece of skill from Ching in the 44th minute but the shot deflects off a Honduran defender.

A great save in the 43rd minute from Escobar on a free kick from the US.

Much like the game at RFK two weeks ago, the midfield play is a stalemate with both teams losing possession far too easily.

Holden has lots of time over a clean shot in the 23rd minute but flies it over the Honduran goal.

GREAT SAVE PERKINS IN MINUTE 20!

Blown call by the official as Costly is onside kept on by the last US defender but is called off.

Ching completely misses the target following a good cross from Rogers. Perhaps justice is served as Heath Pearce like he did at the Mateo Flores last August wasn’t called for a hand ball by the same official, Courtney Campbell.

A knock on Carlo Costly in Honduras is that he is not an out and out striker, often drifting too deep into midfield or even the defense. We see that again early on here.

Pearce and Rogers interacting well on the left side, with Pearce pushing up often and Rogers moving into a more roving role.

Good early effort from Jay Heaps heading a corner just wide of the target


About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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