United States 1-1—2
It was not the prettiest win, but the United States beat Honduras 2-1 in their first match of the 2015 Gold Cup. Clint Dempsey’s 2 goals pushed the United States to victory despite a mediocre team performance for much of the second half. The United States jump to first in the table of Group A with 3 points.
Honduras had 11 shots on goal compared to 5 from the United States. Despite a second half goal from Carlos Discua, Honduras came up short and was not able to capitalize on the opportunities they had.
For the United States, they are on to Boston where they will play Haiti Friday night. A win would almost guarantee the team advances into the knock-out stages of the Gold Cup.
Here are all the key storylines and highlights of the United States 2-1 victory over Honduras.
No real surprises with the United States starting XI. The line-up was executed as expected. There is some speculation that there could be a different starting XI for Friday’s match against Haiti.
The Beginning of the First Half Was Marked by Physical Play
It would take a while for cards to be issued. As expected, it was quite a physical match with the referees stopping plays numerous times for fouls. US fans will watch nervously on Friday night to see if the physicality of this match has any bearings on the players against Haiti.
John Brooks Picked up a Yellow Card
In a match that was extremely physical, John Brooks picked up the only yellow card for the United States. Honduras was awarded a yellow card later on in the match. Aside from those two incidents, the referees let both teams play physical. They preferred to warn players often rather than handing out cards.
Clint Dempsey Scored in the First Half on a Header
Dempsey’s header found the back of the net to give the United States the early lead. The goal occurred right before the 25′ mark in the first half and would help the United States surge into halftime.
The United States Finished Strong at End of the First Half
The US got off to a bit of a slow start but the attack started to get going about the 20′ mark. However, Honduras has had more shots on goal with 9 shots versus 3 for the United States at the half.
Clint Dempsey Scored a Second Goal on a Header
Dempsey was certainly the man of the match. This was his second goal of the evening on his second header. A well executed set piece by the United States. It is rare to see two goals scored by the same player in a match. Much less two goals that happen on headers.
Honduras Scored One Goal in the Middle of the Second Half
Carlos Discua put Honduras on the board in the second half. However, it would not be enough to prevail. They had plenty of opportunities and had twice as many shots on goal as the United States. Aside from Discua’s goal, they could not capitalize on the chances they had in the second half.
A Potential 3rd US Goal Was Counted as No Good
This controversial shot was not counted. The Gold Cup does not have the review technology that has become common place in international matches and tournaments. The replay seems to indicate that the ball crossed the white the goal line.