Matt Turner made two saves during the penalty-kick shootout to help the US men’s national team defeat Canada at FC Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium on Sunday night and advance to the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals 3-2 on penalties after the rivals played to a 2-2 draw following 120 minutes.
It was the second knockout round match the rivals played in less than a month, with the USMNT beating CanMNT, 2-0, to capture a second straight Concacaf Nations League title in Las Vegas on June 18. The Yanks won their 12th Gold Cup quarterfinal and will face Panama in the semifinals Wednesday evening at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, home of the 2025 MLS expansion team.
However, it was not without some adversity.
Jacob Shaffelburg gave Canada their first lead in the 109th minute, with the Nashville SC winger picking up the ball in midfield following a US turnover, putting on the afterburners and slotting his deflected shot past a diving Turner into the side netting.
The lead was short-lived though, with the USMNT leveling five minutes later on an own goal by Scott Kennedy after Dayne St. Clair saved Gianluca Busio’s shot.
Brandon Vazquez was set for hero status, coming off the bench to score the opening goal in the 88th minute with the FC Cincinnati forward heading in a DeJuan Jones service in the box. But Canada leveled from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time with Steven Vitória converting after Miles Robinson was called for a handball in the box following Video Review.
It was the second time Robinson was at the heart of a Video Review for a possible handball, but a foul on Canada seconds before was detected during the check of the monitor in first-half stoppage time.
Turner had little to do through 120 minutes, but was put on teammates shoulders after his two shootout saves ensured safe passage into the semifinals.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Survive and advance, right? That’s what it’s all about in the knockout round and that’s what the USMNT did, albeit needing a PK shootout to reach the semifinals. And rallying from an extra time deficit could be huge for this young group.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Vitória leveled from the spot in second-half stoppage time, but Turner got his revenge in the first round of the penalty-kick shootout to set the tone.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Turner made no saves during regulation time. But the Arsenal goalkeeper and former New England Revolution star made two stops in the penalty kick shootout to make sure the USMNT didn’t suffer their first Gold Cup quarterfinal loss.
- USA: Wednesday, July 12 vs. Panama (7:30 pm ET) | Gold Cup semifinals
- CAN: End of tournament