Hosts to meet Jamaica in Gold Cup Final

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Host nation USA are through to their fifth consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, to be played on Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field, where they’ll meet first-time finalists Jamaica, after both nations came through a pair of thrilling semi-final ties which saw nine goals between them.

In a double-header day at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Jamaica were first-up against Trinidad & Tobago. Silvan Ebanks-Blake opened the scoring after 18 minutes with a cool finish from just inside the area before Jobi McAnuff doubled the score on 29 minutes. Already facing an uphill battle by this point, T&T carelessly lost possession in their own half and Karl Henry rifled home a third Jamaican goal just over a minute after McAnuff’s goal. Both sides created half-chances in the second period, but the game was already over and Jamaica through to Sunday’s final.

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United States twice came from a goal-down to send their semi-final against Mexico to extra-time at 2-2, where Michael Bradley’s free kick (above) in first-half stoppage time put the hosts on their way to an eventual 4-2 win. Ulises Daila and Jerónimo Amione had twice put Mexico in front, either side of a Chris Wondolowski equaliser, but when Mexican ‘keeper Rodriguez fumbled Jonathan Spector’s tame shot over the line for a 70th minute equaliser, the tone of the match changed.

USA dominated for the final 20 minutes and were fuming after an injury time decision by the Canadian referee to caution Jonathan Bornstein for diving when it looked like he’d been clipped in the box. When Bornstein was bundled over 15 minutes into extra-time some 25 yards out, Michael Bradley curled the free-kick beautifully into the top corner. Five minutes into the second period of extra time, Jozy Altidore flicked a header onto the crossbar, but a tired Mexican defence were slow to react and Wondolowski scored his second of the game to make it 4-2 and wrap up the game.

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