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Gold Cup standings, results

U.S. men

Keller’s sprawling stops in penalty-kicks tiebreaker defeats Canada after 0-0 draw, sets up Gold Cup championship date with Costa Rica.

PASADENA, Calif. (Wednesday, January 30, 2002) -- The United States outshot Canada 36-10, but it took four-for-four accuracy, plus two saves by goalkeeper Kasey Keller in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker for the Americans to dispose of Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals tonight following 120 minutes of scoreless soccer before 7,241 at the Rose Bowl.

The U.S. will take on Costa Rica Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday in the championship match televised live on Spanish-language Univision. Costa Rica defeated South Korea 3-1, led by two goals by Paulo Wanchope, in tonight’s first semifinal

"I thought we played very well tonight," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. "We were a little unlucky not to get a goal and we clearly deserved to win this game. I give Canada credit for fighting hard for 120 minutes, but in all honesty, I think the better team won. We created a number of quality chances in the attacking end of the field, and in the defending end of the field we were equally as good. I'm not sure our opponent had too many quality chances."

"I didn't see much of (Costa Rica’s) match tonight, but we obviously know them very well from (World Cup) qualifying. The reason they were the best team in qualifying is because they have great balance all over the field. A good front line led by Wanchope, good midfielders, a very good group of defenders and solid goalkeeping."

Landon Donovan, Brian McBride, Jeff Agoos and Clint Mathis all nailed their penalty kicks in the tiebreaker past keeper Lars Hirschfeld who had made 15 saves in the run of play to keep Canada in the match. Keller sprawled to his left to turn away a low drive by Kevin McKenna, Canada's first kicker. After Paul Stalteri and Dwayne DeRosario converted, Keller dove to his right to dent Tam Nsaliwa, promting the obligatory charge of the American team from midfield to mob their keeper.

U.S. reserve keeper "Tony [Meola] and I watched their penalties against Martinique. Basically, we didn't know who was going to take them, but we had a pretty good feeling that a majority of players were going to the left," Keller said. "It's always nice to have a bit of prior knowledge. Most people in pressure-packed situations go with what they are comfortable with and they were successful against Martinique, so we thought that's what they would go with."

The U.S. had numerous chances to score in regulation and overtime, including an intense goal-mouth flurry in the second half that saw four well-taken U.S. shots somehow stay out of the net. In the 54th minute, midfielder Eddie Lewis sent a cross to the left edge of the penalty area for striker Josh Wolff who banged a 12-yard shot off the near post. Fellow forward Brian McBride quickly hit the rebound, but was stopped by a sliding Hirschfeld.

The ball then popped into the air, and after an errant clearance from Canada’s defense, Wolff had a second opportunity, hitting a bicycle kick that was cleared off the goal line by Canadian captain Jason de Vos. McBride then had a second rebound chance, but Hirschfeld came up with another save.

"We were pretty confident throughout," U.S. midfielder Cobi Jones said. "If you look at the chances, we had many more of them. Canada had maybe one or two. We had a lot of the play in their end and a lot of good opportunities to score. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and we had to go to penalties. But we were confident from the beginning."

The U.S. is 8-9-4 all-time against Costa Rica, but has defeated the Ticos all three times the nations have met in the Gold Cup. In the inaugural tournament in 1991, the Americans won 3-2 in the first round at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Two years later, the teams met in the semifinals with the U.S. prevailing 2-1 on a golden goal from defender Cle Kooiman at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

In 1998, the U.S. triumphed 2-1 to win its preliminary group on a brilliant 25-yard strike from Preki Radosavljevic late in the match.

United States 0, Canada 0
(United States advances on 4-2 on penalty kicks)

Lineups: Canada - Lars Hirschfeld, Tony Menezes, Jason de Vos (captain), 6-Jason Bent (10-David Xausa 11, Dwayne DeRosario 75), Paul Stalteri, Nick Dasovic, Jim Brennan, Carl Fletcher, Daniel Imhof (Tam Nsaliwa 70), Richard Hastings, Kevin McKenna. United States - Kasey Keller, Frankie Hejduk, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Agoos (captain), Carlos Bocanegra, Cobi Jones (Brian West 106), Chris Armas, Eddie Lewis (DaMarcus Beasley, 65), Landon Donovan, Brian McBride, Josh Wolff (Clint Mathis 75).

Scoring: none.
Penalty kicks summary: United States - Donovan (goal), McBride (goal), Agoos (goal), Mathis (goal). Canada - McKenna (saved), Stalteri (goal), DeRosario (goal), Tam Nsaliwa (saved).

Shots: Canada 10, United States 36. Saves: Canada 15, United States 3. Corner kicks: Canada 6, United States 13. Fouls: Canada 24, United States 18. Offside: Canada 2, United States 0. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Stalteri 51, McKenna 52, Dasovic 95; United States 48.

Referee: Peter Prendergast (Jamaica). Assistant referees: Michael Ragoonath (Trinidad & Tobago), Michael Mitchell (Jamaica). Attendance: at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Weather: 56 degrees, clear, chilly.

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