The US men's national team are bound for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup final thanks to a late game-winning goal from Gyasi Zardes that delivered a 1-0 victory over Qatar in a semifinal matchup Thursday night at Austin FC's Q2 Stadium.

The Yanks got everything they could handle and then some from a Qatar side that emerged as one of the most dynamic attacking sides in the tournament and racked up plenty of chances throughout the match, including a crucial missed penalty kick in the second half that would have given them a go-ahead tally. In the end, Zardes played the hero role after entering as a second-half substitute, slotting home his 14th international goal in the 86th minute to ensure the US would advance.

Qatar put pressure on the Yanks early, with the US needing two big early saves from New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner to avoid conceding the opener.

The first came in the 19th minute after a deflection off James Sands nearly went in for an own goal, but was parried away by Turner at the last moment. Turner then one-upped himself just two minutes later when a deflected shot gave Qatar's Khoukhi Boualem a golden chance from point-blank range that he put on target, only to see it denied by a full-extension, diving save from Turner.

The guest nation and reigning Asian champions continued to apply pressure, ultimately outshooting the Yanks 13-3 in the first half, but the USMNT went to halftime in a scoreless deadlock.

Daryl Dike nearly struck for an opener for the host nation just on the other side of halftime. The Orlando City SC striker got on the end of a pinpoint left-footed feed from Matthew Hoppe, but saw his close-range shot denied by a kick-save from Qatar goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham.

The USMNT looked like they would pay for the missed opportunity, as Qatar's Akram Afif drew a penalty kick on Sands at the other end just minutes later. The call wasn't originally awarded, but referee Juan Calderón pointed for a spot-kick following Video Review. Hassan Al Haydos lined up from the spot for Qatar, but missed a panenka that sailed just over the crossbar, improbably keeping the match scoreless.

It would stay that way until the 86th minute, when Zardes struck for the dramatic late winner. The Columbus Crew forward was the beneficiary of a great run into the box and feed from Nicholas Gioacchini, slotting home the decisive tally that sent the Yanks through to the confederation championship's final.

Advertising

Goals

  • 86' - USA - Gyasi Zardes | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: They had to work for every bit of it, but credit to the Yanks for a gutsy win that has them in another Gold Cup final. Topping this Qatar side is no small feat, as the guest nation showcased their talent throughout the run to the semifinals and this end-to-end contest. Ultimately, thanks to Zardes' late heroics, the Yanks now find themselves one game from another trophy.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The missed PK by Al Haydos was the turning point, but the late game-winner from Zardes was the decisive moment that set off a wild scene in Austin.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Without first-half heroics from Matt Turner, the USMNT would have been down by at least one goal going into halftime. Instead, the Revs' backstop produced the type of saves that have seen him emerge as arguably the best goalkeeper in MLS.

Next Up

  • USA: Sunday, August 1 vs. Canada or Mexico | 8:30 pm ET (FS1) | Concacaf Gold Cup Final
  • QAT: End of tournament

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising