Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

Americans win Copa group

PHILADELPHIA — The United States advanced to the quarterfinals of the Copa America, getting a first-half goal from Clint Dempsey and surviving DeAndre Yedlin's early second-half ejection to beat Paraguay 1-0 Saturday night.

Hosting a special 100th anniversary of South America's championship, the United States (2-1) won Group A after second-place Colombia (2-1) lost 3-2 to Costa Rica late Saturday.

The Americans next play a quarter­final match Thursday against Brazil, Peru or Ecuador in Seattle.

Colombia clinched a knockout stage berth, while Paraguay (0-2-1) and Costa Rica (1-1-1) were both eliminated with the U.S. result.

Dempsey scored his 51st international goal in the 27th minute, but the American defense was upended just three minutes into the second half.

Yedlin got his first yellow in the 47th minute for a slide tackle from the side into Miguel Almiron near the center circle and then when play resumed, he raised a foot and charged into Miguel Samudio near a sideline.

Chilean referee Julio Bascunan immediately gave a second yellow, and Yedlin lifted both arms wide as if to say, "Why me?''

Michael Orozco replaced Yedlin in the 50th, and Dempsey came off as the U.S. team prepared to survive an onslaught. With Paraguay applying pressure, American coach Jurgen Klinsmann tried to spur on the crowd of 51,041 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a body stop on a short-range shot in the 82nd minute, then made a kick save on an attempt off the rebound. Paraguay's Gustavo Gomez put the ball past Guzan in the 89th but was whistled for offside.

With the Americans playing their third game in nine days, Klinsmann started the same lineup for the third straight game — something done only once before in U.S. national team history, in its three matches at the 1930 World Cup.

Gyasi Zardes created the game's only goal when he received a pass from Michael Bradley, ran down the left flank and slowed. Marked by Paulo Da Silva, who made his record 137th appearance for Paraguay, and Victor Ayala, Zardes spurted to the end line and crossed.

Dempsey sprinted into the penalty area as the trailing runner and from 8 yards one-timed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Dempsey scored for the second straight game and is six goals shy of Landon Donovan's American record.

Paraguay had a chance to go ahead in the 11th minute after American leftback Fabian Johnson missed a tackle, creating a 3-on-1 break with only defender John Brooks and Guzan to beat.

Brooks made a slide tackle in the penalty area to knock the ball away from Almiron.

Guzan made a sliding save on Dario Lezcano at the edge of the 6-yard box in the 45th after the forward made a run that split Brooks and Geoff Cameron.

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