The U.S. national team is headed to its fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Honduras on Wednesday. The team will play Panama, which defeated Mexico, 2-1, in the other semifinal matchup, on 4 p.m. Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill.
Landon Donovan scored twice and Eddie Johnson added a goal as the U.S. national team rolled into the CONCACAF Gold Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Honduras on Wednesday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. Juergen Klinsmann was ejected for dissent in the 87th minute. The tournament disciplinary committee will decide whether he will be allowed on the sideline Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Playing in his 150th career game, captain Landon Donovan took control early and continued to put pressure on Honduras’ defense throughout the game.
By even the very high standards of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan is regaining top form after taking a break from the national team.
Donovan scored two goals and set up another on Wednesday night. . .
Klinsmann said the performance was “wonderful to watch.”
“I have told him in our conversations that ‘I measure you. Your benchmark is the best Landon Donovan ever,’ ” Klinsmann said. “I’m not taking anything less than that. And he is trying to catch up with that. Give him more games. Give him time.”. . .
Donovan has five goals in the tournament, tying him with teammate Chris Wondolowski for most in the Gold Cup. Donovan has set up seven goals, including four in the last two games.
Entering the game, he was the only U.S. player to play every minute of the tournament. He finally was subbed out in the 72nd minute, having earned a rest.
“It’s the most relaxed I’ve felt,” Donovan said. “I feel good, and I’m really enjoying it.”
The U.S. struck first when Donovan found Eddie Johnson running through the middle of the Honduran defense. Johnson took a dribble and powered a shot past goalkeeper Donis Escober, giving the U.S. a lead 11 minutes into the game.. . .
Nery Medina of Honduras made it a one-goal game in the 52nd minute, heading in a cross from Marvin Chavez. The Americans countered a minute later when Bedoya ran down a long ball from Clarence Goodson and crossed it to Donovan, who scored from a few yards out.
Panama had a tougher time reaching the final, needing a header off a corner kick in the 61st minute that would end up being the deciding goal.
[Roman] Torres’ goal in the 61st minute came off a corner from teammate Gabriel Torres. With a one-goal cushion, Panama was able to survive a Mexican attack that produced four good scoring opportunities over the next 30 minutes.
Panama will play the United States on Sunday in Chicago for the Gold Cup championship. The teams played in the 2005 Gold Cup final, won by the U.S. on penalty kicks.
Blas Perez struck first, giving Panama a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when he blasted a shot to the near post, beating goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
In the 26th minute, Mexico’s Marco Fabian faked a defender deep in the box and then lofted a cross to the far side of the goal. Luis Montes’ diving header sent the ball into the far upper corner for the tying goal.
After Torres’ goal, Mexico squandered multiple scoring opportunities. In the 70th minute, Panama goalkeeper Jaime Pendo made a diving save on a shot by Jorge Enriquez. Three minutes later, Montes missed just wide.
Pendo also made a fingertip save on Isaac Brizuela’s shot, pushing the ball on top of the net. In the 89th minute, Javier Orozco’s diving header missed wide by inches.
The United States previously won the tournament in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007. The final against Panama will be a rematch of the 2011 Gold Cup semifinals that featured both teams, which the United States won, 1-0 .