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July 8, 2009
U.S. blanks Honduras 2-0

Brian Ching scored his 11th international goal to put the U.S. up 2-0.
Brian Ching scored his 11th international goal to put the U.S. up 2-0.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
WASHINGTON, D.C.---The home town boy proved to be the hero for the United States in their 2-0 Gold Cup win over Honduras at R.F.K. Stadium Wednesday night. Santino Quaranta, who plays for D.C. United and grew up in nearby Baltimore broke a scoreless deadlock in the 76th minute with his first international goal. Brian Ching added a tally four minutes later to provide the final margin.

The win gives the U.S. a clear lead in Group B of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. All they need is a tie in their next game against Haiti to be assured of a spot in the semi-finals.

The U.S. put on a superb performance, using a lineup of players far different from the one that made the finals of the recent Confederations Cup in South Africa. The Americans held a 10-4 advantage on shots, and controlled play for most of the game.

Quaranta almost put the U.S. up in the 15th minute. Robbie Rogers cut down the left side and sent the ball into the top of the penalty area, where Quaranta met it, sending a header just wide.

Ching came close in the 22nd minute, getting a ball from Kyle Beckerman and slipping past a defender. His off balance shot beat the Honduran goalkeeper, but was cleared by a defender.

The Americans kept the pressure on and in the 27th minute, Quaranta got a nice ball to Rogers on the wing. Rogers shot was blocked and on the ensuing corner kick by Freddy Adu, Quaranta sent a header wide.

Honduras had their best chance of the half in the 30th minute when Walter Martinez broke in one on one against U.S. goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Martinez had an open far post, but instead put his shot into the netting on the near side.

The U.S opened the second half on the attack. Heath Pearce made a run into the near corner and sent a ball into the six yard box. Adu tapped the ball lightly to Ching who volleyed a shot high.

The U.S. got a new wind with a pair of fresh legs in the 64th minute when Benny Feilhaber replaced Logan Pause and Charlie Davies came in for Adu.

Just a few minutes later, Davies almost broke the stalemate with what would have been a freak goal. Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escobar took a goal kick as Davies charged in. The ball hit Davies and spun like a top toward the goal, but Escobar managed to grab it before it crossed the line.

The U.S. put together a world class attack to get their first goal, stringing together five passes in the attacking zone. The final sequence saw Feilhaber lay the ball off to Davies who touched it to an onrushing Quaranta. Quaranta buried the ball from the top of the box.

Davies and Quaranta almost duplicated the effort two minutes later, but Quaranta’s shot went wide.

The Americans went up 2-0 in the 80th minute when Steve Cherudolo sent a ball into the area and Ching rose above the crowd to head it past Escobar.

Kenny Cooper came on for Ching in the 82nd minute and had two quick chances to extend the U.S. lead. When Davies whiffed on a shot in the 85th minute, Cooper sent a shot right at the Honduran goalkeeper. A minute later, the FC Dallas forward saw an angle and sent a shot just wide of the far post.

The U.S. plays Haiti July 11 in Foxborough, Mass.

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