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After penalties, North America’s clash falls prey to the United States. Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner was the Americans’ hero, becoming the first American goalkeeper in 21 years to score multiple penalties in a penalty shootout. For Canada, this is the third time in the last four editions that the quarter-finals have been the final stage. The US will play Panama in the semi-finals.
Things could have been different for the Canadians. It was not a good quarter-final, but a thrilling semi-final. The US dominated the first half without becoming dangerous. The most important feat came five minutes later, when the linesman took a ball full in the face from a Canadian, stopping the game for six minutes. However, the linesman was unable to resume play. After the break, the picture of the game didn’t necessarily change, other than Canada scoring twice. Something impossible before retirement. The U.S. took the lead with two minutes left in regulation time. Brandon Vasquez scored his fourth goal in his seventh international to send the Stars and Stripes into the semi-finals. A great early cross from Dejean Jones was met by the head of Vasquez, who headed home in his own half.
Canada missed a penalty in the third minute of overtime and it looked like the game was over. Miles Robinson was a bit unlucky to receive the ball and, due to VAR’s intervention, was eventually awarded a penalty kick. It was a breeze for Steven Vitoria: 1-1.
Overtime was probably the best part of the game. The game swung up and down, with the US in particular really running, and Canada taking the lead. Jacob Schaffelburg had a chance to score his first goal for Canada after 109 minutes. A decently mated winger tried his luck from the left flank and fired an effective shot through the leg of an American. All seemed to be going well for the Canadians. It wasn’t until the 114th minute that Scott Kennedy tragically headed the ball into his own goal. The ball bounced through his goalkeeper at his feet.
Under the bar in Canada: Dane St. Clair, Turner in the United States. Goal scorers Vitoria and Vázquez both missed their pin, but things looked bleak for the Canadians when Liam Fraser missed Canada’s third penalty. The U.S. would not miss again, and the curtain fell on Canada when Spartans Charles-Andreas Prime hit the decisive fifth penalty shot against the crossbar.
Jamaica have advanced to the semi-finals of the Gold Cup for the fourth time in the last five editions. A goal from Amari Bell denied The Reggae Boys their first semi-final since 1996 as they beat Guatemala 1-0.
Bell, who won promotion to the Premier League with Luton Town last season, was released by Everton’s Demarai Gray after 51 minutes. The left back has scored on average once in recent seasons.
The defender is one of five Premier League players selected by Icelander Heimir Hallgrimsson, who has been in charge of the Islanders since last season. Guatemala didn’t get much more than a few tries from ex-Utrecht player Rubio Rubin.
A semi-final against Mexico now awaits Jamaica. Jamaica has previously reached the final twice in 2015 and 2017. In 2017, they beat Mexico in the semifinals, but the USA was too strong in the final. In 2015, the Islanders beat the U.S. in the semifinals, but Mexico excelled in the final.
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