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Gold Cup

Colombia advances to Gold Cup semifinal with triumph in penalty kicks after 2-2 draw.

MIAMI (Saturday, February 19, 2000) -- Increasing optimism has surrounded the United States menís national team since Bruce Arena took over as coach in late 1998. This afternoon, for the first time, there was bitter disappointment.

Twice in todayís Gold Cup quarterfinal before 32,972 at the Orange Bowl , the U.S. squandered one-goal leads, including being tied 2-2 with eight minutes remaining. Then the Americans were feeble in penalty kicks, allowing Colombia a 2-1 edge in the tiebreaker and advancement to Wednesday nightís semifinals.

The U.S. failed to advance to the Gold semifinals for the first time in the four previous tournaments. After winning the inaugural event in 1991, the U.S. was runnerup in 1993 and 1998 and finished third in 1996.

"Itís disappointing, because we lost two leads," Arena said. "We should be able to protect a lead with 10 minutes left . . . I was disappointed with the two goals we gave up, especially the late one."

The frustrating setback wasted a one-goal, one-assist effort by U.S. striker Brian McBride.

"It's not as if we were looking ahead, but we thought we had a good chance to get to (the semifinals in) San Diego," U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis said. "The guys are in disbelief."

Colombia's tied the score at 2-2 in the 82d minute when forward Gerardo Bedoya settled a lose ball with his chest above the top left of the penalty area and unleashed a wicked 25-yarder into the top left corner beyond the reach of leaping goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who might have been a yard or two further off his goal line than he would have liked.

Thirty minutes of sudden death settled nothing.

The U.S., participating in penalty kicks for the first time since 1995, looked ill-prepared to win the tie-breaker. Lewis was the only American to connect, and he did so despite miskicking his attempt.

Eric Wynalda sent the first U.S. try well over the crossbar and Claudio Reyna, the second shooter, hit the crossbar. After Lewis success, Chris Armas and Ben Olsen sent weak shots that Colombia keeper Miguel Calero stopped.

Friedel, who made three sensational saves to preserve the 2-2 tie, made two one save and watched another try sail over the bar, but Gonzalo Martinez and Bonner Mosquera found net. When Olsen failed, Colombia did not need to take a fifth attempt.

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Midfielder Cobi Jones collects on right flank in midfield and carried down the sideline. He crossed to McBride near the penalty spot and he nodded a shot into the right corner past Miguel Calero.

Colombia needed only four minutes to equalize at 1-1, catching the U.S. flat across its back line. Hector Hurtado carried into left side of box and crossed on the ground to Faustino Asprilla who, eight yards from the center of the goal, touched the ball past an outstretched Friedel into right corner.

Friedel helped the Americans reclaim the advantage at 2-1 in the 51st minute with a punt into the Colombia penalty area. In the top right of the box, McBride battled to win a header which he sent to the far post. Armas ran onto the ball and tucked his shot inside left post from six yards.

Colombia 2, United States 2
(Colombia advances 2-1 in penalty kicks)

Lineups: United States - Brad Friedel, Jeff Agoos, Robin Fraser, Eddie Pope, Eddie Lewis, Chris Armas, Claudio Reyna (captain), Cobi Jones (Ben Olsen 77), Jovan Kirovski (Richie Williams 27); Eric Wynalda, Brian McBride (C.J. Brown 81). Colombia - Miguel Calero; Andres Mosquera, Carlos Fernando Asprilla, Gonzalo Martinez; Jorge Bolano (John Wilmar Perez 61), Hector Hurtado (Edwin Arturo Congo 58), Franky Oviedo, Faustino Hernan Asprilla (captain), Martin Zapata (Mayer Candelo 70); Gerardo Bedoya, Bonner Mosquera.

United States - McBride (Jones) 20.
Colombia - F. Asprilla (Hurtado) 24.
United States - Armas (McBride) 51.
Colombia - Bedoya (unassisted) 82.

Penalty kick scoring:
United States - Wynalda (high), Reyna (hit crossbar), Lewis (goal), Armas (saved), Olsen (saved).
Colombia - Perez (high), Martinez (goal), Candelo (saved), Mosquera (goal).

Shots: United States 14, Colombia 18. Saves: United States 7, Colombia 2. Fouls: United States 23, Colombia 26. Corner kicks: United States 4, Colombia 3. Offside: United States 5, Colombia 3. Yellow card cautions: United States - Wynalda 85, Olsen 91; Colombia - Mosquera 42, Bedoya 53, Congo 80, C. Asprilla 85. Red card ejection: Colombia - Bedoya (second yellow card) 120.

Referee: Carlos Betras (Guatemala). Referee assistants: Michael Ragoonath (Trinidad & Tobago), Ramesh Ramdhan (Trinidad & Tobago). Attendance: 32,972 at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Weather: 80 degrees, hot, sunny.

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