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USMNT escapes Qatar 1-0 to advance to Gold Cup Final

A late goal set up all by substitutes gets the USMNT back to their third-straight Gold Cup Final

United States forward Gyasi Zardes controls the ball in the game against Canada during CONCACAF Gold Cup Soccer group stage play at Children’s Mercy Park.  Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

An 86th minute goal from Gyasi Zardes slotted away a pass inside the box to give the United States Men’s National Team a 1-0 win in the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal.

The USMNT will face the winner of Thursday night’s Mexico-Canada match in Houston on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Zardes was a 63rd minute substitution for Daryl Dike, and linked up with 83rd minute sub Nicholas Gioacchini to make the difference.

While it was enough to advance, it was mostly a pedestrian performance for the USA against the 2019 Asian Cup champions. Qatar outshot the Yanks 15-5, but did have 58% of possession despite several effective counters from the Qataris until the goal was scored.

The other difference was a bit more luck, as Qatar’s Hassan Al Haydos skied a penalty in the 61st minute after VAR correctly charged James Sands for a poor tackle in the box of Akram Afif that did get a fraction of the ball, but far more thigh and shin.

The USA is 6-5 all time in Gold Cup Finals, having only missed the last game four times in the history of the 30-year-old tournament.