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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

June 22, 2011
RESERVES RULE
Donovan, Adu set up Dempsey’s Gold Cup game-winner


Clint Dempsey's 77th-minute goal sent the USA through to Saturday's Gold Cup Final.
Clint Dempsey's 77th-minute goal sent the USA through to Saturday's Gold Cup Final.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HOUSTON — There is a substitute for success after all.

In fact, for the United States a pair of substitutes provided the keys to a 1-0 victory over Panama in Wednesday night’s semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Clint Dempsey scored a goal in the 77th minute off of passes from second-half subs Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu in front of a capacity crowd at Reliant Stadium.

The Americans will play the winner of the Mexico-Honduras match, which was the second game of Wednesday night's doubleheader. They also avenged a Group C loss to Los Canaleros, who recorded a 2-1 upset in Tampa on June 11.

The U.S. scored off a quick counterattack. Adu, who had been on the field 11 minutes in his first appearance of the tournament, found himself with the ball in the middle of the park and sent a perfect pass to Donovan on the right flank.

Donovan penetrated into the penalty area and sent Dempsey a cross. He got positioning on Adolfo Machado and knocked the ball in at the left post past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

Donovan replaced Sacha Kljestan at halftime and Adu came on for Juan Agudelo in the 66th minute.

The U.S. managed to survive the remaining 13 minutes in regulation and almost four minutes of stoppage to book its fourth consecutive berth in the Gold Cup final.

   
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