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July 10, 2015
Third goal in two games leads U.S. 1-0 win over Haiti

Clint Dempsey's third Gold Cup goal lifted the US over Haiti 1-0 on Friday.
Clint Dempsey's third Gold Cup goal lifted the US over Haiti 1-0 on Friday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Clint Dempsey scored his third goal in two games Friday night, sparking the United States to a 1-0 victory over Haiti and assuring it of the Group A title at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dempsey's goal in the 47th minute came off a feed from Gyasi Zardes, who entered the game to start the second half for Jozy Altidore, and gave the Americans six points and a four-point lead over second-place Panama.

The United States will face Panama on Monday in Kansas City, Kan., in the group finale having already assured itself of the most favorable position in the quarterfinals.

Haiti remained tied for third with one point with Honduras, which drew 1-1 with Panama earlier in the day.

The United States had the greater possession throughout the match, but struggled until the 30th minute to generate anything meaningful.

Haiti stacked its defense inside its own half, pressed from midfield, generated turnovers and looked dangerous on counters.

“Les Genadiers” had the best chance of the first half when a midfield turnover by Mix Diskerud resulted in a foul by Diskerud 30 yards from the U.S. goal, and James Marcelin skipped the ensuing free kick off the top of the crossbar in the 10th minute.

While Haiti outshot the United 21-6, none of them troubled Brad Guzan – outside the free kick off the bar, with all the chances high and wide.

As the first half neared conclusion, the Americans allowed fewer counters and began creating their own moments.

Aron Johannson had a goal disallowed for offside in the 35th, but television replays showed the AZ Alkmaar forward in a lawful position.

Zardes' insertion had an immediate impact as he found space on the left, worked his way toward the byline and angled the ball back to the top of the 18, where Dempsey ran in unmarked and struck a hard volley for the winner.

The goal brought a respite for the United States, but Haiti eventually resumed its effective counterattacking.

Duckens Nazon had Haiti's best moment in the 57th, breaking in alone, but Guzan raced off his line to block the shot with his chest.

Six minutes later, Wilde-Donald Guerrier drove a low header just wide of the left post from six yards.

The match saw several end-to-end counters, but while looking dangerous, rarely forced either goalkeeper into dramatic efforts. The best U.S. effort came in the 89th when Zardes beat the offside trap on a free kick, dribbled in on and around Haitian goalkeeper Johny Placide, but couldn't keep the ball from going over the byline.

The victory was the sixth straight for the United States and extended its unbeaten streak to seven. The match finally evened the United States' record with Haiti with six wins apiece and five draws. The United States is unbeaten in its last eight against the Caribbean Francophone nation, which recorded all of its wins against the Americans between 1968 and 1973. Mexico remains the only CONCACAF nation with a winning record against the United States.

The win also kept intact the United States' unbeaten record in the Gold Cup in Foxborough, winning its seventh in nine matches.

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