USA Defeats Paraguay in Quarterfinals of Copa America Centenario
The United States defeated Paraguay 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of Copa America Centenario. Clint Dempsey scored the goal, but John Brooks was rightfully awarded Man of the Match. Also, thanks to an upset win by Costa Rica over Colombia, the Americans have rebounded to win Group A — despite losing their first match.
In the 11th minute, an offensive miscue by the Americans led to a dangerous 3 on 1 attack for Paraguay. Luckily for the United States, Brooks was able to thwart the attack with a tackle. It was among several outstanding plays made by Brooks in the match. He also cleared a Paraguayan corner in the 66th minute. Analyst Alexi Lalas said:
“Look, I think John Brooks was wonderful. Fantastic, his positioning, his understanding, he just keeps growing every single game.”
Dempsey scored the goal in the 27th minute. Gyasi Zardes assisted with a perfect pass to the middle of the box. It was Dempsey’s 51st goal in international play. The United States’ all-time leader in international goals is analyst Landon Donovan with 57, and he explained the play saying:
Teams that score first in this Copa American are now 14-1-0.
US goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, was also outstanding. He had 6 saves including a double-save in the 82nd minute. After the match, Guzan said:
“The guys in front of me have been fantastic and every now and then I come up with a save and I was lucky enough to do that tonight.”
Guzan has 3 shutouts in his last 4 international matches. He preserved the clean sheet despite the US playing a man down for nearly the entire 2nd half. DeAndre Yedlin, already on a yellow card, received his 2nd yellow in the 48th minute. He slid in recklessly to make a tackle literally just a few seconds after his initial warning from the referee.
“It’s huge, especially being down a man. It showed our will to grind out a result. To fight, to just battle,” said Guzan. The referee issued 8 yellow cards in total. US Team Captain Michael Bradley also received one for dissent in the 59th minute.
The United States plays next on Thursday night in Seattle. Their opponent has yet to be determined.
(USA Defeats Paraguay)