The U.S. beat Guadeloupe 1-0 last night in Kansas City and will not meet Jamaica this weekend in the Gold Cup quarter-finals.
So far in the Gold Cup the U.S. has been a shadow of the side that played in the World Cup last year, and their indifferent form was evident last night. Despite dominating possession throughout the game and creating clear chance after clear chance, the U.S. could only score one goal against Guadeloupe.
As has been the American’s Achilles heel for the last year or so, they almost fell behind early in the game when Guadeloupe defender Stephane Zubar’s shot hit the crossbar following sloppy defensive work by the U.S. Fortunately that was the closest Guadeloupe came to a goal all night.
In the 9th minute the U.S. went one up when Jozy Altidore took a pass from Michael Bradley and blasted it into the back of the net from outside the penalty box. After the goal I expected the U.S. to go on and score four or five , and they created enough chances to score that many goals. But a combination of good goal keeping and poor finishing kept the U.S. off the score sheet for the rest of the game.
Everyone missed chances for the U.S., but the most player most guilty of poor finishing was Clint Dempsey. In the first half he was unmarked in the six yard box, but somehow managed to put his header wide. If you thought that miss was bad, the one in the second half was almost laughable it was so bad.
Alejandro Bedoya played a ball across the six-yard box to an unmarked Dempsey in front of an open goal. Dempsey attempted to take two touches on rather than knocking it in with one. As a result, Guadeloupe was able to make a last-gasp tackle to clear the ball away.
“Tonight I wasn’t good enough with my chances. I couldn’t buy a goal,” said Dempsey. “The ball played across (from) Bedoya I should’ve hit it first time. I thought no one was on me. I thought could take two touches. Wrong decision on my part.”
The U.S. needs to be a lot more clinical in front of goal against Jamaica on Sunday if they hope to progress to the semi-finals next week. Here are the match highlights in case you did not see the game.