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2023 Gold Cup Quarterfinals, USA vs. Canada: Recap

The USMNT faced a well-known adversary in Canada and triumphed once more over their northern neighbours. Here is what transpired.

Canada was the second time in a month that the United States Men’s National Team played them. Cristian Roldan was substituted for Julian Gressel in this game by interim coach B.J. Callahan from the lineup that was used in the 6-0 thrashing of Trinidad and Tobago. Unusual behaviour occurred right at the

beginning of the game. Right near to the endline and directly into the linesman’s face, Kamal Miller successfully cleared the ball in the first few seconds. The referee team initially attended to the bleeding, hurt linesman, at which time the game was stopped for around ten minutes.

The game itself proved to be a little lacklustre once play really began, at least at initially. In essence, Canada lost possession when it was unable to enter the US’s final third. On the other side, while being under little pressure, the USMNT frequently displayed sloppiness and slowness, losing passes or playing the ball into Canadian defenders.

Things started to alter after 30 minutes.

In the 33rd minute, DeJuan Jones did make a rush into the box for the US, but the ensuing corner produced nothing. The USMNT defence resisted Canada’s attempts to ultimately make their way down the right side of the team and earn a free kick. Before forcing a foul around the midway line, the US was able to play out of pressure with a quick little move. In the 38th minute, the US was able to re-establish itself and assault the Canadian goal after recycling play. They were able to keep possession even if they weren’t able to control anything that directly affected St. Clair. It was evident that the American team’s younger players were beginning to find their groove. In the 41st second, Canada attempted to sabotage it with a risky foul, for which Lucas Cavallini received a yellow card for grabbing Sands behind his ankle.

Bryan Reynolds’ misplay of a cross into the US defence in the 47th minute was Canada’s most dangerous opportunity of the half. By chance, the US prevented an own goal. When the next corner was cleared, Canada made an appeal for a handball by Miles Robinson. As it turned out, Robinson’s hand appeared to strike the ball as he flailed it in its direction. However, after reviewing the play, the referee determined that Busio had been fouled mere minutes earlier, awarding a free kick as opposed to a penalty.

The US managed to enter the box following a free kick in the 56th minute, but they could only muster a feeble bouncing attempt from Ferreira that St. Clair easily blocked. Alejandro Zendejas was attempted to be tackled by Canadian players twice in quick succession at the very end of the half, and the Americans became irate when the referee overlooked both instances. The half (finally) ended in a bit of a melee.

The US dominated possession of the ball to start the second half. On the left side of the Canadian penalty area, near to the byline, Jones was successful in winning a dangerous free kick. Gressel made it into a shot that was on goal, but St. Clair deflected it with a punch.

After Alejandro Zendejas was hacked down in midfield in the 56th minute, Canada continued to use this tactic on American players, earning another yellow card. The kick was swiftly executed and played towards Busio, who was waiting on the right side. When Busio’s cross fizzed in, there were no runners in the box.

After Alejandro Zendejas was hacked down in midfield in the 56th minute, Canada continued to use this tactic on American players, earning another yellow card. The kick was swiftly executed and played towards Busio, who was waiting on the right side. When Busio’s cross fizzed in, there were no runners in the box.

The US was able to play down the left side in the 61st minute as a result of some deft combination play, especially by Ferreira. Zendejas’ attempt was blocked and cleared after he was able to thread the ball to him. The rapid Canadian onslaught allowed the US to regroup, but Neal conceded a loose ball in the final third, renewing the Canadian attack. That swiftly collapsed, but not before giving the US cause for concern.

Gressel attempted to find an American head to direct a cross into the box in the 68th minute but was unsuccessful. The US was able to make a comeback inside the box and locate Busio, who fired a shot that St. Clair well blocked. On the second try, the US easily rebounded. Prior to coming in for Zendejas, Cade Cowell alone drove from midway into the Canadian final third, but his shot was weak and well wide..

To the pleasure of the home crowd, FC Cincinnati players Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga (for Mihailovic and Neal, respectively) entered the game in the 73rd minute.

Cade Cowell grabbed a hold of a long ball at the top of the box in the 74th minute, but St. Clair simply swept it into his arms. A minute later, Cowell found Vazquez at the top of the box, but Vazquez was unable to find the back of the net. In the 77th minute, Vazquez took another attempt, but Gressel was clearly offsides during the buildup.

In the 85th minute, Cade Cowell had a shot after the US forced St. Clair to make a careless pass out of bounds, but the shot was too narrow an angle to seriously threaten the goal.

The US was able to put numbers into the box and found Busio wide open on the left in the 86th minute. The Canadian defence did, however, clear the cross before the referee called the defence for a foul. The USMNT at last made a breakthrough. DeJuan Jones sent a beautiful curving pass to Brandon Vazquez from deep in midfield. Vazquez slammed it into the goal while playing in the stadium that his club team calls home.

Even though it seemed like everything was settled, a second VAR review revealed a second handball by Miles Robinson within the penalty area. The referee again indicated the penalty area. Without error, Steven Vitoria slammed the ball into the net. And there you have it, back to level. Vazquez made another headed effort in the 97th minute, but it wasn’t successful in preventing extra time from being added to the game.

Canada profited in the 94th minute as USMNT pressure weakened a bit. Jane Russell-Rowe and Jacob Shaffelburg, both Canadian replacements, worked together to generate an opportunity, but Russell-Rowe’s effort sailed over the crossbar. Bryan Reynolds was able to be overtaken by Shaffelburg on the right side of the US by using his pace and fresh legs.

The US was able to reenter the assault in the 96th, but Canada was able to clear, and Cade Cowell was given an odd yellow card on the play.

The US was able to score headed attempts from Matt Miazga and Busio as the first half of extra time was coming to an end, but they were unsuccessful. Similar shot blocking happened to Cade Cowell, resulting in a corner. Matt Miazga managed a headed shot off of that corner, forcing St. Clair to make a quick reaction stop.

There was no respite in the US’s offensive performance during the second period of extra time. After a second ball was sent towards Vazquez and the Canadian backline, Busio promptly had a shot blocked. However, Canada made the breakthrough when Shaffelburg outran the US squad and slipped the ball past Turner via the legs of Miazga.

The US could press ahead. Jesus Ferreira attempted a headed shot (excuse me?! ), and Cristian Roldan entered the game to provide a bit extra flair. Then another American innovation followed. In the box, Matt Turner sent a hopeful ball that ultimately found Busio. Busio sent it right at the custodian, who deflected it into his own defender and back towards the goal. Scoring by Scott Kennedy, 2-2.

Jesus Ferreira whipped in a couple risky corners as the USMNT continued to advance, but they were unable in getting off a shot. The game was headed to a penalty shootout even though Matt Miazga received a yellow card at the last end for shoving the referee.

The coin toss caused a fight between Matt Turner and Steven Vitoria. Vitoria stood uncomfortably with the ball in his hand as the teams argued about where they may stand during the shootout. Possibly, it was the difference, or it could have been something else. But in any case, Matt Turner blocked the initial shot..


After Brandon Vazquez missed his shot, the US lead was lost.


Matt Turner dived to the right to save the shot as Liam Fraser stepped up and drove his attempt to the right.


Cade Cowell approached the goal and struck the ball with accuracy.


It’s Kamal Miller’s time now, and he performs flawlessly, putting Canada on the scoreboard after three attempts.


Gianluca Busio moved up, composed as ever, and placed it in the top corner, which was practically a perfect corner.


As he neared, Jacen Russell-Rowe inhaled deeply before pushing Turner the wrong way.


The US’s fourth attempt was made by Jesus Ferreira. St. Clair made the appropriate judgement and even managed to block the shot, but he was unable to do so.


Charles-Andreas Brym onto the pitch for Canada’s sixth penalty kick, aware that the team would lose if he failed. The ball then smashed off the underside of the crossbar and escaped the net.

The USMNT triumph, and Canada departs.

San Diego will host a semifinal game versus Panama on July 12.


Indian Online News

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