Brek Shea, the noted gun enthusiast, saved the U.S. National Team some blushes with a late goal in the 82nd minute to power a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in the Gold Cup at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The U.S. finished Group C a perfect 3-0-0 and ran their winning streak to eight games overall. As a result the U.S. will play El Salvador in the quarterfinals Sunday in Baltimore.
It was one a standout sequence in an otherwise dreary match, so you didn’t miss much if you opted for the MLB All-Star Game for your Tuesday night televised sports fix. U.S. keeper Sean Johnson started it with a diving save. It triggered a quick counter attack. Landon Donovan feathered a one-touch ball that hit Shea in stride and he slotted it past Costa Rica keeper Patrick Pemberton. As some would say, the U.S. went: bink, bink boom.
The key to the play is Donovan’s passing touch. With touches like those, we’re even closer to labeling the all-time leading American international scorer as “back” following his self-imposed hiatus earlier this year.
Until Shea’s goal the only highlight in the game was another example of miserable CONCACAF officiating when Pemberton should have been sent off with a red card for stopping a shot with his hands outside the box. Pemberton received only a yellow card. Jose Torres put the ensuing free kick on target, but Pemberton reached out for a save and Donovan couldn’t get to the rebound quick enough.
And now let us never speak of this match ever again.
Previously: Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski Score Delightful Second-Half Goals for USMNT [Video]
Previously: Stuart Holden Scored His First Goal for the USMNT Since 2009 Tuesday Night vs. Belize [Video]