The US national team kept their Copa America Centenario dream alive, as they defeated Ecuador 2-1 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday to book their place in the semifinals.
Minutes later, John Brooks continued his strong tournament with a timely block to cut out a goal-bound Michael Arroyo shot, preserving the US lead.
A player from each side was sent off in the 52nd minute, as Antonio Valencia received a second yellow card after kicking out at Alejandro Bedoya, and Jones received a straight red card in the subsequent scrum for an apparent swipe at the head of an Ecuador player.
The US doubled their lead just after the hour mark, as Gyasi Zardes ensured Dempsey's effort towards goal went in with a simple tap-in at the far post.
But Ecuador found their breakthrough in the 74th minute, as Arroyo buried a low shot through traffic off Walter Ayovi's free kick deep in the US end, and continued to pile on the pressure from there.
- 22' - USA - Clint Dempsey (Jermaine Jones)
- 65' - USA - Gyasi Zardes (Clint Dempsey)
- 74' - ECU - Michael Arroyo (Walter Ayovi)
- Full box score
WILD RED CARD GAME SWINGS:
While the teams traded chances throughout the night, the US were in control prior to the dual red cards, and Ecuador took more and more control of a chaotic game after the game went down a man on each side. From a US perspective, taking that 2-0 lead made all the difference, allowing them to weather Ecuador's goal and the plethora of chances the South Americans sent in the final stages of the match.
- USA: Tuesday, June 21 vs. winner of Argentina-Venezuela quarterfinal (9 pm ET, FS1, Univision, UDN)
- ECU: Eliminated from Copa America Centenario