Though the tournament co-hosts may well have lacked fluency, Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. were able to begin the Gold Cup with a win.
A brace from skipper Clint Dempsey saw United states open their CONCACAF Gold Cup defence using a 2-1 victory more than Honduras on Tuesday.
USA’s bid to win their sixth Gold Cup title began successfully in Dallas, although coach Jurgen Klinsmann could have some concerns about how his group played, with Honduras arguably enjoying the greater from the contest.
After USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan was forced into two early saves, a scrappy opening 20 minutes saw 3 instances as numerous fouls (9) as shots (3) with all the property side failing to open up Honduras’ defence correctly.
But inside the 25th minute, Dempsey craned his neck to nod a rebound into the net from six yards after Honduras failed to handle a corner.
It was a different set-piece that cost Honduras a second objective in the 64th minute, with Dempsey heading Michael Bradley’s free-kick inside the back post when left unmarked.
Though Honduras would hit back quickly soon after due to substitute Carlos Discua, the USA managed to hold on for their fifth consecutive victory, when Jorge Luis Pinto’s Honduras extended their poor pre-tournament form into the Gold Cup correct.
Honduras began the strongest with Guzan speedily into action in just the second minute, getting his correct hand down to parry Anthony Lozano’s shot.
Andy Najar, who would be a typical menace for the USA’s right-hand side of defence, cut in in the wing 4 minutes later but again Guzan created the save, acrobatically tipping the ball over the bar.
Guzan was the busier on the two goalkeepers in the 1st half but it was his counterpart Donis Escober who had to choose the ball out of his net following 24 minutes.
Honduras couldn’t clear Bradley’s corner and Escober stopped Jozy Altidore’s follow-up shot with his boot only for Dempsey to convert.
When possession was almost equal ahead of half-time, Honduras spent more time in their forward half than their hosts, with Klinsmann’s males commonly attacking around the break.
A single of these counter-attacks must have led to a second target within the 31st minute but Escober was immediately off his line to deny DeAndre Yedlin inside a one-on-one right after a fine run and pass from Fabian Johnson.
The visitors’ pressing was causing USA difficulties with each Lozano and Alfredo Mejia failing to hit the target soon after winning possession from consecutive objective kicks, even though in first-half stoppage time, Escober came out of his box to intercept a pass to Dempsey just before Honduras surged only for Najar to shoot over the bar.
The USA continued to lack fluency in the second half but began to pin Honduras back a lot more routinely, before Dempsey doubled their bring about notch his fourth aim in his previous 3 internationals.
The guests deservedly got on the scoreboard soon right after, with Discua surging from midfield to collect Wilmer Crisanto’s pass along with the 30-year-old completed previous Guzan within the 69th minute.
Pinto’s males have been virtually handed an equaliser in the final ten minutes, with Guzan palming a cross onto Eddie Hernandez however the ball rebounded the incorrect side with the post for Honduras as their winless run extended to four matches.
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