USA manage to hold off Curaçao to reach Gold Cup semi-finals
Gregg Berhalter's side struggled to defeat Curaçao in the sides' Gold Cup quarter-final, but remain in the hunt for the CONCACAF tournament title.
Having avoided Jamaica in the quarter-finals, United States thought they had an easy rival in Curaçao as they continued their bid to defend their Gold Cup title, but what the USMNT encountered at Lincoln Financial Field was definitely not what they expected.
Gregg Berhalter opted for a more offensive line-up with players like Zardes, Pulisic, Boyd, Arriola and McKennie in from the start, and despite the attacking set-up that the Stars and Stripes used to take on Curaçao, the tournament underdogs knew how to face the American team and make them suffer for the win.
Christian Pulisic wore the captain's armband in his task of leading the US side's offensive attack as they sought their semi-final ticket, and thanks to a splendid assist to Weston McKennie, the United States scored the goal that let them reach the next stage of the CONCACAF tournament.
Curaçao complicated things for the American squad as they fought like there was nothing to lose, and they presented themselves as a fierce rival for the USMNT, since they won the control of the game and pressured the US side for most of the game.
The lack of aim from Curaçao prevented them from sending the game into extra time, although they created more chances on goal with Nepomuceno and Bacuna becoming headaches for the US defence. In the end, Curaçao were unable to realise their dream of reaching the Gold Cup semi-finals, but they did have a fantastic game, making United States sweat to get the victory and still be in the run for the title.