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U.S. advances to Copa America semifinals

SEATTLE — Clint Dempsey scored for the third straight game on a first-half header and set up Gyasi Zardes for a tap-in goal midway through the second half, boosting the United States into the Copa America semifinals with a 2-1 win over Ecuador on Thursday night.

Playing before a boisterous and almost completely partisan home crowd in the soccer-mad Pacific Northwest, the Americans won a knockout game against a nation outside its region for only the second time. It plays Argentina or Venezuela on Tuesday in Houston.

U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones and Ecuador wing Antonio Valencia were ejected early in the second half. Jones will be suspended for the semifinal along with U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood, who both got their second yellow cards of the tournament.

Dempsey's 52nd international goal, five behind Landon Donovan's U.S. record, put the Americans ahead in the 22nd minute. Zardes guided Dempsey's cross into the net in the 65th.

Michael Arroyo scored for Ecuador in the 74th minute. Enner Valencia missed a pair of great chances moments later on a pair of headers.

France arrests more than 300

PARIS — More than 300 people had been arrested in France since the European Championship began last week, and 24 were being deported after violent clashes between fans, French authorities said. The violence has marred the start of the tournament and heightened security concerns in a country that is under high alert for terrorist threats.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that 323 people had been arrested in connection with instances of violence, theft and vandalism since the tournament began June 10 and that 196 of them had been temporarily detained.

Eight of those detained had appeared in court and were sentenced to prison, Cazeneuve said, and three received suspended prison sentences.

On Thursday, three other men, all Russian citizens, were sentenced to one to two years in prison and barred from returning to France for two years after their release for their roles in violent clashes in the southern port city of Marseille.

Twenty-four people were being deported from France in connection with violence during the tournament, Cazeneuve said. Twenty of them were Russian men, 25 to 40 years old, who clashed with English fans and French police in Marseille on June 11, said Stephane Bouillon, regional prefect.

The Union of European Football Associations, the body that oversees European soccer, has fined the Russian federation and warned that the Russian team could be disqualified from the tournament if similar incidents continued inside stadiums.

MORE ON EURO CHAMPIONSHIP: At Lens, halftime substitute Daniel Sturridge scored an injury-time winner to give England a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Wales. England had fallen behind after Gareth Bale scored from a long-distance free kick in the 42nd minute. England coach Roy Hodgson brought on Jamie Vardy and Sturridge at halftime to get more finishing power. Vardy scored the equalizer in the 56th minute, and Sturridge muscled his way into the box to score the winner in the first minute of stoppage time. "The manager made some positive changes," captain Wayne Rooney said, "and it paid off for us." At Saint-Denis, Germany and Poland played out the first goal-less draw of the tournament. Arkadiusz Milik, who had scored Poland's winner against Northern Ireland on Sunday, miscued a header as he fell to his knees in Germany's goalmouth, and the ball bounced wide. At Lyon, Northern Ireland won its first game, a 2-0 victory over Ukraine that helped to eliminate its opponent.

U.S. advances to Copa America semifinals 06/16/16 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2016 12:04am]
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