US beat Canada on penalties, join Jamaica in Gold Cup semis


US beat Canada on penalties, join Jamaica in Gold Cup semis

The United States beat Canada 3-2 on penalties after their CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-final ended 2-2 following extra-time in Cincinnati on Sunday.

The USA will now face Panama on Wednesday in their semi-final in Las Vegas while the other tie will see Jamaica take on Mexico.

The Reggae Boyz overcame a determined Guatemala 1-0 to reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final on Sunday thanks to Amari'i Bell's 51st-minute goal.

A lackluster encounter between the tournament-favorite Americans and John Herdman's Canada came alive in the 88th minute.

US substitute Brandon Vazquez, playing on his home ground where he performs for FC Cincinnati, rose magnificently to head in a deep cross from the left by DeJuan Jones.

But there was still time for Canada to respond in stoppage time when, after a VAR review, the referee pointed to the penalty spot and Steven Vitoria keep his cool to convert.

The Canadians, who had not won against the USA on American soil since 1957, then grabbed the lead in the first period of extra-time with a brilliant solo goal from Jacob Shaffelburg.

The left-winger, who plays in Major League Soccer for Nashville, picked the ball up in midfield, raced clear of Jesus Ferreira and then unleashed a left-foot drive that deflected off Matt Miazga on the way to the far corner.

But the USA found a way to force the game to penalties with a fortunate goal six minutes from the end of the second extra period.

A long ball high into the box from goalkeeper Matt Turner was headed down by Miazga and Gianluca Busio's shot was parried out by Dayne St. Clair and flew in off the leg of Canadian defender Scott Kennedy.

American keeper Matt Turner saved the first spot kick from Vitoria but then Vazquez skied his effort high over the bar.

Arsenal's Turner, a penalty saving specialist, then kept out a soft effort from Liam Fraser before Cade Cowell finally found the net for the USA.

There were no further misses until the contest was settled when, needing to score to keep the shoot-out alive, Charles-Andreas Brym blasted his kick against the bar.

USA interim head coach B.J. Callaghan, who remains unbeaten, said his team had shown the right spirit to rise to the occasion.

"There are the moments, these are the high stakes, high impact games that we are looking to play because they test the character of the group and tonight we showed up," he told Fox Sports.

Jamaica have now reached the semi-final stage in four of the past five Gold Cups and have a chance to make their first appearance in the final since 2017.

- 'We don't want to stop' -

It was a frantic start with the Central American side buzzing around the field and there was an early chance for Guatemala's American-born striker Rubio Rubin, but his low shot was comfortably dealt with by Andre Blake.

Full-back Aaron Herrera had another chance for Guatemala, the ball falling to him in space outside the box, but he was unable to get over the rising ball and blasted his effort high.

It was one of Jamaica's Premier League contingent who created the breakthrough with Everton's Demarai Gray showing his close control and awareness as he threaded a defence-splitting pass to Bell, who drilled home from the inside-left channel.

Leon Bailey then brought an excellent save from close range out of Nicholas Hagen, the Guatemala goalkeeper's left leg denying the Aston Villa winger.

But Jamaica had their 'keeper Blake to thank for a full-stretch save that kept out a header from Alejandro Galindo which was heading to the top corner.

"It's an amazing feeling to get to the semi-final. It's something we set out to do, but we don't want to stop there. We are going to keep on going and go and win the tournament," said Bell, who plays for promoted Premier League club Luton Town.
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