Matt Turner came up trumps for the United States in the penalty shootout as he made two saves to ensure their passage to the semifinals of the Concacaf Gold Cup with their win over Canada at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday.
Both sides labored to a scoreless game at halftime, but it could have been a different story in stoppage time when the referee went to the video assistant referee to determine whether Miles Robinson committed a handball in the area following a Canadia corner kick. However, after further review, the referee deemed the defender was pushed, thus disallowing the penalty.
The U.S. had an excellent chance to break the deadlock in the 67th minute of play when Julian Gressel’s cross into the area was knocked toward Djordje Mihailovic. The midfielder then fed the ball to Gianluca Busio who lost control of the ball in the box before recovering and put a shot on target that forced Canadian goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair to make the save.
The team did not ease up the pressure as they had another chance to score in the 75th minute. Cade Cowell picked up the ball following DeJuan Jones’ interception and passed it on to Brandon Vazquez, the forward’s attempt went just wide of the mark.
However, Vazquez would make up for his miss in the 88th minute when he found the back of the net for the U.S. Jones sent a cross over the Canadian defense and the FC Cincinnati man did not disappoint this time as his header screamed past St. Clair.
Just when the U.S. thought they scored the game-winner, the Canadians went on the attack and were rewarded a penalty. It would be Robinson again involved in the infraction as this time he was guilty of handling the ball in the box. Steven Vitoria stepped up and converted the spot-kick in the 92nd minute.
The game headed into extra time, but neither could find the goals in the first half. The excitement would pick in the second half as Canada took the lead in the 109th minute. Jacob Shaffelburg collected the ball just inside the U.S. end and went on a blistering solo run before firing his shot past Turner.
Hope was soon restored in the 115th minute when the U.S. leveled the score. Turner’s long ball from midfield found Matt Miazga as the defender headed towards the center of the box. The Canadian defenders failed to clear the ball out, allowing Busio to pounce and fire a shot that forced St. Clair to make a kick save, but his teammate Scott Kennedy would be caught off guard as the rebound came off his face and went across the goal line.
Penalties would settle this affair and Turner would set the tone when he denied Vitoria the second time around from the spot. However, the U.S. could not capitalize as Vazquez sent his attempt well over the bar.
Turner was called again to do his magic and he did as he made a second save, this time keeping Liam Fraser’s shot from hitting the back of the net.
Cowell, Busio, and Jesus Ferreira converted their spot kicks, leaving Canada one last shot at keeping things going. Charles-Andreas Brym stepped to be the hero, but his shot hit the bar as the U.S. celebrated their passage to the next round.
Next, it’s a trip to San Diego, California, where the U.S. will take on Panama to see who will head to the final of the Gold Cup.