June 25, 2011

Gold Cup Final big plays of the first half

Michael Bradley nods the US men's first goal home against Mexico in Pasadena, CA

The game opens with Chicharito nearly latching onto a quick pass between the defenders. Onsides, Hernandez hit it just wide of Tim Howard's net.

8'. Michael Bradley takes on a Freddy Adu cross, knocking the ball to the far post for the game's first goal in the *' minute.

14'. Chicharito hits a shot from a cutting pass from Barrera, only to have it come off the post. Howard recovers, and the defense scrambles the ball out of the danger area.

11'. Steve Cherundolo subbed off with a sprained ankle for Jonathan Bornstein. Lichaj shifts over to right back.

24'. Freddy Adu finds Landon Donovan, Donovan passes to Dempsey, continues his run towards goal, takes a touch after a give and go and drills the left footed shot near post.

26' Despite some pressure by Mexico, Freddy Adu finds his way back into the box, takes on 2 defenders, and puts a curling shot just to the right of goal.

28'. After a quick throw in and substitution, Mexico works a long ball to Barrera past Bornstein and slots it home. Including this game, the US has kept a shutout in 4 of 6 games in this tournament. This is the first goal against for the US since the 2-1 group stage loss to Panama.

33' Donovan yellow card, first booking of the day. Catches the center back Marquez going for a lifted through ball from Bornstein.

36'. Gio Dos Santos puts a shot in aiming for the far post. Lichaj sticks out a leg but only sets it up for Guardado, who hits it before Howard can get to it. The ball rolls into the net to make the game 2-2

38'. Freddy Adu takes a couple studs to the head, on replay the stamp looked intentional, Mexican player lucky not to see yellow or red.

42'. Marquez goes down, has to be stretchered off due to a hamstring injury. While being carried off, takes off captain's arm band, has to be substituted for Hector Reynoso, the 2nd of Mexico's 3.

As the half winds down, it's all Mexico. Maintaining possession, they continue to try the long ball into the attacking third, making the US defenders work to keep the score 2-2. It's been an attacking game, it's been an entertaining game. Despite being in front of a simulated away crowd, team USA has been able to break down the Mexican defense, scoring the same number of goals against Mexico as they've conceded during the entire tournament up to this point. The Mexican attack has proved deadly, coming from behind to even up the score. Let's see what happens in the next half. It's USA - 2, Mexico - 2 after 45 minutes at the Rose Bowl.

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