Dempsey scores twice, US beats Honduras 2-1 to open Gold Cup
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 08, 2015 01:51 PM
U.S. forward Clint Dempsey (8) stops the ball in front of Honduras' Henry Figueroa (5) during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Frisco, Texas, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Two headed goals by Clint Dempsey gave the United States a 2-1 victory over Honduras on Tuesday and a successful start to its title defense in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Dempsey's goals in the 25th and 64th minutes were created from crosses from Michael Bradley, wearing the captain's armband in his 100th international appearance.
Dempsey's big night came in the same area where the East Texas native trained as a youth, and he boosted the Americans to 13-0 in Gold Cup openers.
Carlos Discua scored his first international goal in the 69th minute for Honduras, a semifinalist in the past three Gold Cups.
"It wasn't our best performance, but we're happy to get three points from our first game," Dempsey said.
It was the first competitive match for the U.S. since losing to Belgium in overtime in the second round of last year's World Cup. The Americans meet Haiti on Friday and Panama on Monday. Haiti tied Panama 1-1 in the doubleheader opener.
The first goal developed when DeAndre Yedlin played a corner kick short to Bradley, who crossed to the far post. Henry Figueroa's clearance attempt was picked up at the side of the 6-yard box by Jozy Altidore, who took a touch and shot. Goalkeeper Donis Escobar kicked the ball out with his right foot and it popped up to Dempsey, who nodded it in from 6 yards.
Bradley's free kick from the flank led to the second goal. Escobar stayed on his line and an unmarked Dempsey jumped 4 yards out and headed inside the far post.
After a sluggish start, the U.S. controlled the pace in the second half until Discua took a clever pass from Wilmer Crisanto and touched the ball past a standing Ventura Alvarado before beating goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Honduras had a couple of good equalizing opportunities in the final 20 minutes, including when Guzan knocked a ball toward Eddie Hernandez, who had an open net but couldn't control the ball before it went out.