El Salvador, U.S. nab last two quarterfinal spots in Gold Cup
Jozy Altidore scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Guadeloupe on Tuesday as the United States seized the last quarterfinal berth in the Concacaf Gold Cup in Kansas City, in the U.S.
That result also insured that Group A’s El Salvador would advance as one of the top two third-placed teams.
The United States advance as the runners-up in Group C behind Panama, who sealed their group win with a 1-1 draw over Canada.
The U.S. squad, whose shock loss to Panama last weekend had put them in a precarious position, gained some breathing room when Altidore buried a driving shot from 25 meters in the ninth minute.
The defeat was the third in a row for Guadeloupe, surprising semifinalists four years ago.
Earlier at Sporting Park, Luis Tejada scored in a goalmouth scramble in the first minute of injury time to give Panama a 1-1 draw.
After Anibal Godoy’s attempt was blocked, Canadian keeper Milan Borjan couldn’t get the ball cleared from in front of the goal and Tejada was able to nudge it across the line.
Canada’s Dwayne De Rosario had converted his second penalty in as many games in the 62nd minute to give Canada the lead.
The Canadians, knowing they needed a victory to guarantee a quarterfinals berth, pressed hard from the start.
They failed to convert several chances but got an opportunity from the spot when De Rosario was fouled in the penalty area by Eybir Bonaga.
DeRosario induced Panamanian keeper Luis Mejia to go the wrong way and powered a low shot into the left corner of the net.
The quarterfinals of the tournament, which is the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, will be held next weekend.
On Saturday at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, defending champions and Group A winners Mexico will take on Guatemala and Costa Rica faces Honduras.
Mexico is trying to repeat despite a squad reduced to 17 after the national federation withdrew five players who tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol during a pre-tournament training camp in May.
Although the federation believes the players ingested clenbuterol inadvertently through contaminated meat, Concacaf has not ruled on the request to replace them.
On Sunday at RFK Stadium in Washington Group B winners Jamaica play the United States and Panama take on El Salvador.
The semi-finals will be held on Wednesday, June 22 in Houston, with the final slated for Saturday, June 25 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
The winners of the tournament book a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Schedule for the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup after conclusion of group play on Tuesday:
Saturday, June 18
New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Costa Rica v Honduras
Mexico v Guatemala
Sunday June 19
RFK Stadium, Washington
Jamaica v United States
Panama v El Salvador
Wednesday, June 22
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Saturday, June 25
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
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