US Men's National Team Dominates El Salvador, Advances to the 2013 Gold Cup Semifinals

By Phil Naegely
Landon Donovan
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

From the opening whistle, US Men’s National Team dominated El Salvador. Behind a spectacular performance from Landon Donovan and others, the United States won 5-1 and advanced to the 2013 Gold Cup Semifinals.

After a perfect run through group play, USMNT built on that success but couldn’t put away the game in the first half. El Salvador cut the deficit to 2-1 with a penalty kick, but the 2-1 result didn’t hold long.

Three second half goals and many other chances allowed the U.S. to threaten to score again and again.

Newly called-up striker Eddie Johnson came on for Chris Wondolowski and scored 14 seconds later. His header came from Donovan’s corner and put the United States up for good. On the defensive side, other than a few hiccups including giving up the penalty kick, they were solid and Nick Rimando made a couple of impressive saves including a double save.

For the most part, the United States controlled possession and dictated the game’s pace. While at times they looked like they weren’t playing aggressively enough, they punished El Salvador’s poor defense. Their keeper made many great saves to prevent the United States from ending the game early on, but in the end he couldn’t make every save.

Ultimately, the United States effectively played the overlap and sent countless balls out wide to send into the box. Some chances did not connect, but the United States had countless chances and capitalized on many of them.

Donovan finished with three assists and one goal and overall many USMNT players stepped up. Because of a dominating performance, USMNT has advanced to the 2013 Gold Cup semifinals.

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