USA vs. Canada: Exciting Moments from the 2023 Gold Cup Quarterfinals

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  USA vs. Canada: Exciting Moments from the 2023 Gold Cup Quarterfinals   

USA vs. Canada: Exciting Moments from the 2023 Gold Cup Quarterfinals

The United States Men's National Team played against Canada for the second time within a month. For this game, interim coach B.J. Callahan decided to make one change in the lineup that we saw during the 6-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago, replacing Cristian Roldan with Julian Gressel. The match started with an unusual incident. In the opening seconds, Kamal Miller cleared the ball near the endline... and it hit the linesman's face directly. The game was suspended for about ten minutes while the referee team attended to the bleeding linesman's injury.

 When the actual game started, it was initially a bit tepid. Canada essentially struggled to make progress and couldn't reach the US's final third. On the other hand, the USMNT was often off-target and slow, missing passes or playing the ball to Canadian defenders while under pressure.

Things began to change after the 30-minute imprint. In the 33rd minute, the US burst into the box through DeJuan Jones, but the resulting corner didn't lead to anything. Canada eventually managed to work their way down the right side of the USMNT and won a free kick, but the American defense remained strong. The US was able to play their way out of pressure with a clever sequence before drawing a foul around the halfway line. After recycling the play, they built up the attack on the Canadian goal in the 38th minute. Although they didn't create a direct threat to St. Clair, they managed to retain possession. It was clear that the young American side was starting to find their rhythm. Canada tried to disrupt it with a dangerous foul in the 41st minute, resulting in Lucas Cavallini receiving a yellow card for catching Sands in the back of his ankle.

Canada's most risky second came in the 47th moment, when Bryan Reynolds coincidentally contacted a cross behind the US backline. The US was fortunate and avoided an own goal. The resulting corner was cleared, but Canada appealed for a handball by Miles Robinson. It appeared that the ball had indeed hit Robinson's hand as he flailed it towards the ball. Notwithstanding, upon survey, the ref discovered that Busio had been fouled only minutes prior, bringing about a free kick rather than a penalty.

In the 56th second, the US had the decision to enter the container off a free kick, yet they could deal with Ferreira's reasonable influencing shot, which St. Clair easily caught. The half (finally) ended with a bit of a scuffle, as the American players were upset when the referee ignored two consecutive moments at the very end of the half where Canadian players attempted to foul Alejandro Zendejas. The second half began with the US once again dominating in possession. Jones had the option to win an undermining free kick on the left half of the Canadian punishment box, near the byline. Gressel changed over it into a shot on track, yet St. Clair punched it away.

Jones had the option to win a compromising free kick on the left half of the Canadian punishment box, near the byline. Gressel changed over it into a shot on track, yet St. Clair punched it away.

Canada kept on utilizing the system of hacking down American players, and Alejandro Zendejas was chopped down, bringing about one more yellow card in the 56th moment. The kick was brought rapidly and made light of the right side, where Busio was pausing. Be that as it may, there were no sprinters in the container when Busio's cross came in.

In the 57th minute, Canada fouled Busio at the top of the Canadian penalty box, earning Kamal Miller a yellow card. Busio made an effort off the free kick, however the Canadian wall rose to clear it well over the crossbar. "In the 61st minute, the US was able to play down the left side thanks to some slick combination play, particularly from Ferreira. He had the option to string the ball to Zendejas, whose shot was hindered and cleared. The US was able to recover on the quick Canadian attack, but Neal gave away a loose ball in the final third, restarting the Canadian attack. That immediately separated, however not without giving the US a panic.

 In the 68th moment, Gressel put in a cross into the container, yet couldn't track down an American head to put it on track. The US had the option to recuperate inside the container and find Busio, who put in a shot that was very much saved by St. Clair. On the restart, the US recuperated rapidly. Cade Cowell, who came on two or three minutes sooner for Zendejas, with practically no assistance drove from the midfield into the Canadian last third, yet his shot was limp and well wide.

In the 73rd moment, FC Cincinnati players Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga came on, to the joy of the nearby allies (for Mihailovic and Neal, separately).

In the 74th minute, Cade Cowell got onto a long ball at the top of the box, but St. Clair calmly swept it into his arms. Just a minute later, Cowell found Vazquez at the top of the box, but Vazquez couldn't manage to put his shot on target. Vazquez put in another shot in the 77th minute, but Gressel was well offside in the build-up.

In the 85th second, Cade Cowell really tried as the US obliged St.  Clair into a sloppy pass outside the boundary, but the shot was from a very tight angle that couldn't really threaten the goal.

In the 86th minute, the US piled numbers into the box and found Cowell open on the left. However, the Canadian defense cleared it away until the referee gave a foul. Finally, the USMNT found their breakthrough. Deep in midfield, Djordje Mihailovic played a surprising curling ball that found Brandon Vazquez. Vazquez, playing in his club team's home stadium, put it away into the goal.

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