Bundesliga trio John Anthony Brooks, Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood all played the full 90 minutes as the USMNT reached the Copa America Centenario semi-finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Ecuador.
USA 2–1 Ecuador
Goals: 1-0 Dempsey (22'), 2-0 Zardes (65'), 2-1 M. Arroyo (74')
Sent off: Jones (52'), Valencia (52')
The tournament hosts were a blur of running and energy in the opening phase, denying the South Americans any time or space on the ball. Hamburger SV-bound striker Wood was particularly impressive, stretching Ecuador's defence with his pace and clever movement. Indeed, the opening goal came as a result of one such run into the box: holding on to possession, Wood laid the ball back to former FC Schalke 04 midfielder Jermaine Jones, who crossed for Clint Dempsey to head in.
The intensity continued into the second half and even boiled over briefly, resulting in red cards for Jones and Ecuador's Antonio Valencia. Wood also picked up a yellow card, which rules him out of the semi-final, but he remained a key figure on the pitch and instigated the USA's second goal by finding Dempsey in space to cross for Gyasi Zardes to tap in.
Enner Valencia spurned two glorious headers to give Ecuador a foothold in the game before Michael Arroyo eventually reduced the deficit. With players tiring, the closing period was a tense affair but the USA managed to hold on to move into the semi-finals.
USA: Guzan – Johnson, Cameron, Brooks, Besler – Zardes (Birnbaum 90+4'), Bradley, Jones, Bedoya (Zusi 81') – Dempsey (Beckermann 74'), Wood
Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
Ecuador: Dominguez – Paredes (Ayovi 82'), Mina, Erazo, Ayovi – Noboa (Gaibor 62'), Gruezo (Ramirez 72') – A. Valencia, Arroyo, Montero – E. Valencia
Coach: Gustavo Quinteros.