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Posted at 08:03 PM ET, 03/26/2012

U.S. soccer team allows late goal, eliminated from Olympic qualifying tournament

United States vs. El Salvador

CONCACAF Olympic qualifying (under-23 teams)

Where: LP Field in Nashville.

Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET.

TV: Universal Sports Network, mun2.

Online: universalsports.com, concacaf.com

USA (three points) must defeat El Salvador (four) in order to secure passage to Saturday’s semifinals in Kansas City, Kan. Canada (five points) allowed a 90th-minute equalizer and settled for a 1-1 draw with Cuba (one point), a result that clinched a semifinal berth but opened the door for the Americans to win the group with a victory.

I will provide periodic updates throughout the USA match. Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section.

USA LINEUP: Hamid; Sarkodie, Opara, Kitchen, Villafana; Diskerud, Okugo, Corona; Adu, Boyd, Shea. Subs: Johnson, Williams, Valentin, Stephens, Jeffrey, Gyau, Bunbury, Taylor.

1st MINUTE: Shea beats three defenders to end line, crosses to Boyd for left-footed volley from six yards. It took all of 59 seconds. 1-0 USA.

4th: El Salvador pleads for a penalty, but no contact as attacker, defender and keeper converged.

11th: Boyd with a clear run on goal but heavy touch allows keeper to intervene.

20th: Still 1-0, USA. It’s getting rough out there: hard tackles, blows to the face, yellow cards.

25th: El Salvador attacking with quickness and confidence but USA absorbing counters and not yielding space around the box.

29th: Adu sends long ball to chest of Boyd, who isn’t able to control behind Salvadoran backline.

31st: Hamid hurts left ankle coming off his line. Medical attention but remains in match.

34th: Gutierrez with best chance of evening for El Salvador, surging into the right flank and narrowly missing near corner.

35th: El Salvador equalizer off a corner kick: Blanco near-post header over Hamid. USA falters on another set piece in tournament. 1-1.

37th: Flores latches onto Alas’s low cross deep in the box, beats Hamid to ball and fires home. 2-1, El Salvador.

39th: Hamid’s ankle continues to cause problems. He exits the match. Sean Johnson enters. Down a goal and now down it’s starting keeper.

40th: Adu drives a dangerous low ball through the six-yard box.

41st: Adu dances in the box, chips 16-yarder beyond the top left corner.

HALFTIME: El Salvador, 2-1. Calamitous turn of events for the Americans, who started so well but were outpaced and faltered on another set piece. Draw won’t cut it for USA; only a victory will get it through to the semifinals.

46th: No halftime changes for USA. Options limited after burning a substitution on goalkeeper. Expecting Bunbury and Gyau at some point.

48th: Nasty head-to-head collision between Sarkodie and Larin. Both remain in match.

55th: USA not exactly seizing control of the match. Salvador absorbing mild pressure and seeking to counter.

57th: Tremendous save by Cuellar on Adu’s 25-yard blast, fully extended to his left to touch the ball wide. Wow.

65th: Adu through ball to Boyd for one-timer past Cuellar. Here we go. 2-2.

68th: Adu lifts high ball across the box to Corona for six-yard header into near left corner. 3-2, USA.

73rd: Johnson makes quality save on Gutierrez’s drive.

80th: USA lead remains intact. Pace to their liking. Keeping possession. El Salvador chasing.

82nd: Away from the ball, Boyd popped in the nose/mouth, bleeding. No cards.

87th: El Salvador has little left in the tank. Resorting to deliberate fouls.

88th: Stephens for Corona.

Added time: Four minutes-plus.

3rd minute of added time: Gyau for Adu.

5th minute of added time: Johnson fails to secure Jaime Alas’s low, 30-yard bid. Unbelievable. El Salvador has drawn even in closing moments.

Full time: USA 3, El Salvador 3. Americans are out in the group stage. Salvadoran players with tears of joy — one of the great moments in the country’s soccer history. ES wins the group, Canada finishes second, USA is third.

By  |  08:03 PM ET, 03/26/2012

Tags:  U.S. under-23 national team, CONCACAF, Olympics

 
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