July 24, Landon Donovan continued his recent dramatic form by scoring two goals and adding an assist in the USA‘s win over Honduras in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, TX.
With the resounding 3-1 victory, the USA now advance to the Final on July 28, where the U.S. Men’s National Team will face Panama.
Since his return from sabbatical, Donovan has scored seven goals and added nine assists, including five goals and seven assists in the Gold Cup. He was also involved in all five goals in the 5-1 Quarterfinal win over El Salvador. Altogether, Donovan has scored 56 goals and 56 assists in 150 games for the USA and now he’s hungry – maybe hungrier than ever – to add more, starting with the USA’s Gold Cup championship.
There’s a lot at stake. The champion of the 2013 Gold Cup will qualify for a playoff against the 2015 champion to decide the CONCACAF entrant in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Klinsmann’s presence uncertain for Championship
It’s unsure if U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be on the sideline for the Championship match, however. Klinsmann was sent off in the 87th minute after spiking a ball when DaMarcus Beasley was fouled hard at the near sideline and now he awaits a decision from the Gold Cup Disciplinary Committee.
For Honduras, Klinsmann made three starting line-up changes from the USA’s quarterfinal victory against El Salvador. Midfielders Stuart Holden and Alejandro Bedoya started instead of Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona, and Eddie Johnson played up front in a 4-2-3-1 against Honduras.
Johnson opened the scoring in just the 11th minute, assisted by Donovan, for his 17th career international goal. Donovan doubled the lead in the 27th minute when Johnson headed a long ball to Alejandro Bedoya, who lofted a pass to the USA’s leading goalscorer inside the penalty area.
Nery Medina pulled one back for Honduras in the 52nd minute, intercepting a free kick from Marvin Chavez and heading it into the net. But just one minute later, Donovan revenged Medina’s goal when he collected Bedoya’s short cross and slid it between the posts for the final 3-1 result.
Alejandro Bedoya’s two assists for Donovan were the first two of his international career.
“They beat us in just about every aspect of the game,” said Honduras coach Luis Suarez. “After five games, the United States has proven to be the most complete in the tournament.”
With the victory, the USA increased its record winning streak to 10 games and improved to 11-2-2 in 2013.
Next up: Gold Cup Championship
The USA now faces Panama, who defeated Mexico in the Semifinal, in the Gold Cup Championship Game on Sunday, July 28, at Soldier Field in Chicago. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX and Univision.
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USA – Eddie Johnson (Landon Donovan) 11th minute
USA -Landon Donovan (Alejandro Bedoya) 27
HON – Nery Medina (Marvin Chavez) 52
USA – Landon Donovan (Alejandro Bedoya) 53
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 25-Matt Besler, 21-Clarence Goodson, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 14-Kyle Beckerman (8-Mix Diskerud, 67), 11-Stuart Holden; 20-Alejandro Bedoya, 10-Landon Donovan (19-Chris Wondolowski, 72), 16-Jose Torres (23-Brek Shea, 67); 26-Eddie Johnson
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Edgar Castillo, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 6-Joe Corona,12-Sean Johnson,13-Tony Beltran, 17-Will Bruin, 22-Bill Hamid, 24-Omar Gonzalez, 27-Alan Gordon
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
HON: 22-Donis Escobar; 3-Brayan Beckeles, 2-Osman Chavez (capt.), 13-Nery Medina, 6-Juan Carlos Garcia; 23-Edder Delgado, 20-Jorge Claros, 16-Alexander Lopez (9-Jerry Palacios, 46); 14-Andy Najar, 21-Roger Rojas (11-Rony Martinez, 69), 7-Diego Reyes (17-Marvin Chavez, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Jose Mendoza, 5-Jose Velasquez, 8-Gerson Rodas, 10-Mario Martinez, 12-Orlin Peralta, 15-Mario Berrios, 18-Kevin Hernandez, 19-Wilmer Fuentes, 24-Erick Norales
Head Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 18 / 11
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Fouls: 13 / 18
Offside: 3 / 0
USA – Eddie Johnson (caution) 90+2nd minute
Referee: Walter Quesada (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Fourth Official: Jeffery Solis (CRC)