Copa America 2016: USMNT pull off incredible 2-1 win over Ecuador with Clint Dempsey starring
Goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes sealed it for Jurgen Klinsmann as they head into the semi-finals.
Ecuador and USA put in incredible shifts in one of the most excited Copa America 2016 games so far this summer. Goals, red cards, fights and noisy crowds added to the whole experience as USA pulled off an incredible feat for qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament.
Goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes gave the Stars and Stripes a 2-0 lead scoring in the first and second half respectively. Dempsey, especially, was outstanding for Jurgen Klinsmann's men continuously setting up plays and creating chances for his side.
Gyasi Zardes's goal was all down to Dempsey's doing who jumped on to a loose ball and try to score into the far open corner of the goal but his effort was just off target but slow enough for Zardes to tap it in and double USA's lead.
Ecuador didn't give up though continuously threatening USA's defence with the likes of Enner Valencia and Jefferson Montero – who was by far the player with the most flair on the pitch. Dribbles, cut-ins and more from the Swansea winger always kept Fabian Johnson and the rest of the USMNT defence busy all night long.
Their goal was a brilliant strike by Michael Arroyo who latched on perfectly to a Walter Ayovi dead-ball pass. His shot blasted past all of the USMNT defence and Brad Guzan who couldn't do a thing to prevent the ball from going in.
While Ecuador pushed for an equaliser, USMNT showed a lot of spirit in holding the game away from their rivals' reach. The story of the game, however, was the red cards. While Antonio Valencia deserved the second yellow after tripping Bedoya cynically, the referee also showed Jermaine Jones a straight red card for his 'slap' on an Ecuador player. Jones, though, didn't walk off the pitch immediately but was sent off later.
Much like Jones, even Ecuador's manager, Gustavo Quinteros, was sent off but remained on the sidelines till the end of the game outlining the amount of drama that was on display. It wasn't always passion, it wasn't always cynicism, in the end, however, USA emerged victorious and that's all that matters.