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Donovan shines as USA into Gold Cup final

25 Jul 2013 06:01:56

Donovan shines as USA into Gold Cup final

The United States advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final by beating Honduras 3-1 on Wednesday, but winning coach and former Germany star Jurgen Klinsmann was sensationally sent off.

The victory included a stellar two goals and an assist from Landon Donovan, taking the Americans to a national team record of 10 straight wins.

"We showed again we can overcome a great obstacle and we've got one more to go," Donovan, who scored in the 27th and 53rd minutes, said of a USA side that will now enter a fifth consecutive Gold Cup final.

Donovan also set up the first goal of the match, sliding a pass to Eddie Johnson who raced in and beat Honduras goalie Donis Escober at Cowboys Stadium.

But the win was marred slightly when Klinsmann was ejected in the 87th minute for arguing with officials, after a hard tackle on DaMarcus Beasley.

"It was just a reaction out of frustration because the fouls were adding up," Klinsmann said afterwards. "I overboiled it."

The USA will attempt to clinch their first title since 2007 in the biennial North American regional tournament on Sunday when they face Panama who beat Mexico 2-1 in the other semi-final.

On Wednesday, America's Donovan scored his first to make it 2-0, bringing the ball down from his chest inside the penalty area and slotting it home.

Nery Medina netted for Honduras to pull a goal back in the 52nd minute, latching on to a free kick from the right wing.

But the USA replied just a minute later as Alejandro Bedoya and Donovan linked up with the star player on the night restoring the two-goal lead, taking advantage of a cross in front of goal to finish with a nifty tap in.

The pitch wasn't in the best shape for Wednesday's matches as the teams had to deal with a makeshift field after officials covered Cowboys Stadium's regular artificial surface with natural grass.

The Americans have now scored 25 goals in six wins going into the final.

But it was a bad night for Mexico who succumbed to their second straight loss to Panama in the tournament.

Blas Perez (13th) and Roman Torres (60th) scored for the winners, while Luis Montes netted for Mexico in the 26th minute.


AFP

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