USMNT defeats Curaçao 1-0 to reach Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Curaçao 1-0 to advance to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals behind Weston McKennie’s 25th-minute tally. The victory in front of 26,233 fans at Lincoln Financial Field was a USMNT record ninth in a row in Gold Cup play.
The win earned the USA a semifinal date with Jamaica, which defeated Panama 1-0 in the day’s earlier match. Kickoff from Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the second USA-Jamaica semifinal in the last three editions of the Gold Cup is set for 9:30 p.m. ET. The game, a rematch of the 2017 Gold Cup final, will be broadcast on FS1, Univision and UDN, and Futbol de Primera radio.
U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter returned to the starting XI that began the opening pair of Group D matches for the USA, while handing the captain’s armband to Christian Pulisic for the first time in 2019 – the ninth different player to captain the U.S. this year as Berhalter continues to spread leadership duties among the players.
The U.S. started strong with two early chances in the opening five minutes. The first came after a long dribble from Pulisic, who shot just wide form the top of the box. A nice passing sequence then scythed through the Curaçao defense as Paul Arriola fed the ball to Pulisic on the door step and his shot was barley brushed over the bar by Curaçao goalkeeper Eloy Room.
Curaçao then grew into the game, amassing some decent possession but in the 25th minute Pulisic teamed up with fellow 20-year-old McKennie to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Pulisic collected a long ball into the left corner, beat his marker one-on-one and clipped an inch-perfect cross to the back right post for McKennie to nod home his second career goal and first in Gold Cup play. The assist was Pulisic’s third of the Gold Cup, tying him with Canada’s Alphonso Davies for the tournament lead.
Taking the 1-0 advantage into the second half, the U.S. nearly added to its lead on multiple occasions, the best of which fell early to Pulisic, who got free near the top of the box but saw his shot roll just wide of the left post.
Although Curaçao edged possession in the second half, the island nation was unable to create many quality opportunities inside the box as the U.S. defense limited Curaçao to a solitary shot from inside the are in the second 45.
On Curaçao’s best opportunity to tie the match, a rocket from Leandro Bacuna postmarked for the upper left corner, U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen made an acrobatic one-handed save in the 84thminute to keep Curaçao off the board and secure the shutout win that tied the USA’s previous record for most consecutive clean sheets in a single Gold Cup tournament (4).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Weston McKennie (Christian Pulisic), 25th minute: Pulisic received the ball on a run down the left sideline and cut toward goal. He juked his defender with a quick feint before lofting a cross to the back post where McKennie put his headed shot inside the right stick for the game winner. USA 1, CUA 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- The USMNT is 7-2-1 in 2019, having kept a clean sheet in all seven wins.
- The USMNT is now 2-0-1 all-time against Curaçao (formerly represented as Netherlands Antilles), 2-0-0 on home soil and 1-0-0 in Concacaf Gold Cup play. The two previous matches came in 1984, as part of qualification for the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
- The USMNT is 25-7-5 all-time in the Gold Cup knockout rounds and 10-0-1 in quarterfinal matches.
- The USA extended its record streak by scoring in its 28th consecutive Gold Cup match. The U.S. has not been shut out in the competition since the 2009 Gold Cup final.
- The victory marked the USA’s ninth straight in Concacaf Gold Cup play (July 12, 2017-June 30, 2019), setting a new team record for consecutive wins at the confederation championship.
- With a fourth straight clean sheet, the team tied the USMNT record for most consecutive shutouts in a single Gold Cup tournament which previously occurred in the 2002 edition. The four shutouts also constitute the longest such streak in any competition since the U.S. kept six consecutive clean sheets from June 8 to Sept. 10, 2008.
- USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter utilized the same starting XI that began the first two group stage matches – a 4-0 win vs. Guyana (June 18 in St. Paul) and 6-0 win vs. Trinidad & Tobago (June 22 in Cleveland).
- Pulisic captained the USMNT for the second time, having previously worn the armband in the team’s 1-0 defeat to Italy on Nov. 20, 2018. The 20-year-old midfielder is the ninth player to captain the side in the USA’s 10 matches this year. The others: Aaron Long (2 games), Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Miazga, Tim Ream, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and DeAndre Yedlin.
- Christian Pulisic registered his ninth career assist on McKennie’s goal and moves into a tie with Canada’s Alphonso Davies for the tournament lead with three.
- Earning his sixth career clean sheet, Zack Steffen and the back line of Nick Lima, Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman and Tim Ream have yet to concede a goal in 270 minutes on the field together during the Gold Cup.
- The USMNT has held opponents scoreless for the last 405 minutes of play, a streak dating back to the second half of the match against Venezuela on June 9 in Cincinnati.
- Long and Zimmerman partnered in central defense for the fifth time in 2019.
- Michael Bradley made his 23rd Gold Cup appearance, tying Kasey Keller for third on the USMNT’s all-time tournament caps list.
- Arriola and Zardes also made their team-leading ninth appearances of 2019.
- Having received a yellow card during the group stage, McKennie avoided picking up a second caution in the match, meaning all 23 players on the team now have a clean disciplinary slate heading into the semifinal.
- Today’s Starting XI had an average age of 25 years, 296 days and 31 caps.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Curaçao
Date: June 30, 2019
Competition: 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup; Quarterfinals
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
CUW 0 0 0
USA – Weston McKennie (Christian Pulisic) 25th minute
USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 2-Nick Lima, 5-Walker Zimmerman, 23-Aaron Long, 13-Tim Ream; 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Weston McKennie, 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.); 21-Tyler Boyd (11-Jordan Morris, 63), 9-Gyasi Zardes, 7-Paul Arriola (3-Omar Gonzalez, 90+2)
Substitutes not used: 1 2-Sean Johnson, 22-Tyler Miller, 6-Wil Trapp, 14-Reggie Cannon, 15-Cristian Roldan, 16-Daniel Lovitz, 17-Jozy Altidore, 18-Jonathan Lewis, 19-Matt Miazga, 20-Djordjie Mihailovic
Head Coach: Gregg Berhalter
CUW: 1-Eloy Room; 13-Jurien Gaari, 2-Cuco Martina (capt.), 4-Darryl Lachman, 21-Ayrton Statie (5-Jurich Carolina, 68); 15-Shermaine Martina (6-Michael Maria, 80), 10-Leandro Bacuna, 18-Elson Hooi; 11-Gevaro Nepomuceno, 19-Jafar Arias, 14-Kenji Gorre (16-Gino Van Kessel, 75)
Substitutes not used: 22-Jarzinho Pieter, 23-Zeus De La Paz, 3-Shermar Martina, 7-Jarchino Antonia, 12-Shanon Carmelia, 17-Zinjo Constansia, 20-Jimbertson Vapor
Head coach: Remko Bicentini
Stats Summary: USA / CUW
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside: 2 / 2
CUW – Shermaine Martina (caution) 30th minute
CUW – Elson Hooi (caution) 70
Referee: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Angel Hernandez (MEX)
4th Official: Said Martinez (HON)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Zack Steffen