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Dempsey sends United States into Copa semifinals

SEATTLE -- Clint Dempsey continued his exceptional Copa America Centenario with a goal and an assist to lead the United States to a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Ecuador on Thursday night.Dempsey has now played a part in all but one U.S. goal in ...

SEATTLE - Clint Dempsey continued his exceptional Copa America Centenario with a goal and an assist to lead the United States to a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Ecuador on Thursday night.
Dempsey has now played a part in all but one U.S. goal in the tournament, scoring three and assisting on three more to secure his country’s first semifinal berth since 1995.
Gyasi Zardes also scored for the Americans, who will travel to Houston Tuesday to face the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between Argentina and Venezuela.
Michael Arroyo scored for Ecuador, which had gone unbeaten in its three matches in Group B before suffering defeat at CenturyLink Field.
Both sides finished with 10 men after Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia received his second caution and American Jermaine Jones got a straight red, both in the 52nd minute.
Referee Wilmar Roldan also ejected Ecuador coach Guztavo Quinteros in the 90th minute.
Jones will miss the semifinal, as will Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood after picking up their second yellow cards of the tournament.
Dempsey put the U.S. ahead in the 22nd minute when he finished off an attack that started with his pass to Bobby Wood.
With a defender pressuring, Wood dropped a pass back to set up Jones’ cross from the right.
Dempsey reached the out swinging service and sent a powerful header beyond goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez from about nine yards.
Zardes made it 2-0 in the 65th minute after rising to win a header in the penalty area.
The ball fell left to Dempsey, who held off the challenge of Fernando Gaibor and crossed it back to Zardes for a finish into an open net from a foot away.
Arroyo provided some late nervy moments when his right-footed, 20-yard strike off Walter Ayovi’s corner kick beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

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