Gold Cup: Mastroeni Helps Lead USA to Victory Over Jamaica to Reach Semifinals

FOXBORO Mass. (AP) - DaMarcus Beasley provided the offense and the United States moved within two wins of taking its third Gold Cup.

The speedy midfielder scored two goals and added an assist to lead the United States over Jamaica 3-1 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"We played well today. This was our best game of the tournament U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "I thought we were sloppy in the second half with dealing with the game but at the end of the day a 3-1 win is an excellent result."

The United States plays Honduras on Thursday at East Rutherford N.J. in the semifinals of the tournament the championship of soccer's North and Central American and Caribbean region. Honduras beat Costa Rica 3-2 in the opener of the doubleheader.

The U.S. last won the Gold Cup in 2002 and also won it in 1991 the first year the tournament was played.

In Sunday's quarterfinals at Houston defending champion Mexico plays Colombia and Panama meets South Africa. Colombia and South Africa were invited to the tournament as guests.

Josh Wolff gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute deflecting Beasley's shot into the net for his first goal of the tournament.

Beasley doubled the lead in the 42nd minute. Landon Donovan split the defense with a pass to Beasley who broke behind two defenders and beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from inside the 6-yard box. Beasley added an unassisted goal in the 83rd minute.

"We had a lot of chances. It was crazy that we didn't score more than three goals. We could have had four five maybe six goals Beasley said.

Ricardo Fuller cut the U.S. lead to 3-1 in the 88th minute and Landon Donovan missed a late penalty kick.

Jamaica had a penalty kick in the eighth minute but U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a diving save on the shot by Andrew Williams.

"In the first half we were somewhat lethargic Jamaican coach Wendell Downswell said. "The two goals we gave up in the first half you could call soft goals."

American defender Steve Cherundolo was taken off on a stretcher in the 21st minute after being kicked by Damion Stewart. Stewart was given a yellow card on the play.

Ben Olsen received a red card in the 58th minute for pulling down Fuller in front of the U.S net and is suspended for the semifinal. Khari Stephenson almost brought Jamaica within 2-1 on the ensuing free kick but his shot bounced off a post.

Jamaica's Jermaine Taylor was given a red card for taking out Beasley with a wild tackle in the 66th minute.


Jamaica: Donovan Ricketts; Damion Stewart; Jermaine Taylor; Tyrone Sawyers (Damani Ralph 60th); Robert Scarlett; Andrew Williams; Ricardo Fuller; Tyrone Marshall; Jermaine Hue; Cari Stephenson; Luton Shelton (Jermaine Johnson 69).

United States: Kasey Keller; Greg Vanney; Oguchi Onyewu; John OBrien; Steve Cherundolo (Ben Olson 25th); DaMarcus Beasley; Landon Donovan; Jimmy Conrad; Josh Wolff (Chris Armas 80th); Steve Ralston (Santino Quaranta 84th); Pablo Mastroeni.