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United States v Curaçao Live Commentary, 6/30/19

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W. McKennie (25)
Lincoln Financial Field


That wraps up our coverage of a tight and tense encounter at the Gold Cup! We hope you will join us again soon. Until then, it's goodbye for now.
Better will be expected of Berhalter's charges in their next match, a semi-final against Jamaica in Nashville on Wednesday. The winner of that match will advance to face either Haiti or Mexico in the final.
USA take another step towards to retaining their continental crown, but do so in underwhelming fashion. McKennie's 25th-minute header gave the host nation the advantage and they appeared content to sit on that slender lead for the entire second half. It's the end of the road for Curacao, but Bicentini's side acquitted themselves with distinction in their first appearance in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup.
O. González
P. Arriola
United States
90' + 2' Berhalter moves to shore up his defence for the final few minutes, introducing centre-back Gonzalez in place of attacker Arriola.
90' + 2' Kessel blazes well wide of the target as a frustrated Steffen barks out instructions.
90' Bradley now unfurls a tame attempt that Room clutches safely to his chest. It's still 1-0 and we're heading into four minutes of added time!
89' Curacao are leaving gaps at the back in their desperation for an equaliser and that allows Zardes to meet a cross, but he can't crane his neck enough to keep the header down.
87' Curacao continue to come forward as a stooping Long is forced to head away another cross. Can the outsiders create a clear-cut chance to get back on level terms?
84' Steffen at full stretch denies Bacuna! That's a great save from a swerving, long-range shot. USA's narrow one-goal lead is under threat!
84' USA haven't registered a shot on goal since McKennie scored in the 25th minute, which seems like a lifetime ago. They have managed 10 attempts in total with just over six minutes of normal time remaining.
82' Morris blasts over the bar, giving goalkeeper Room a reprieve after his punch from Pulisic's corner failed to find any distance.
M. Maria
Shermaine Martina
80' Maria gets a turn for the final 10 minutes as Shermaine Martina, who was on a booking, heads for the bench.
79' Wasted! USA break at pace as Arriola crosses for Zardes. The forward leans back and guides his finish high over the bar.
77' Berhalter still has two subs up his sleeve, while Bicentini has one change left to make.
G. van Kessel
K. Gorré
75' Gorre has played well, but his time is up. Van Kessel comes on as Curacao chase an equaliser.
75' Curacao almost find a way past Steffen from a free-kick, but the flag is up.
72' Into the final 20 minutes now in Philadelphia and Curacao are having the better of possession. USA seem content to sit on their 1-0 advantage.
E. Hooi
Yellow Card
70' Hooi holds back Pulisic and joins Shermaine Martina in referee Adonai Escobedo Gonzalez's notebook.
69' Carolina plays a ball into the box with his first involvement of the match, but Zimmerman is there to clear. USA are still lacking direction and energy all over the pitch.
J. Carolina
A. Statie
68' Not good news for Statie as he goes off on a stretcher after seemingly pulling his hamstring. Carolina comes on at left-back.
66' Statie is down clutching his hamstring and will need some attention. It looks like he might have to go off.
J. Morris
T. Boyd
United States
63' Berhalter does turn to the bench for inspiration as the ineffective Boyd makes way for Morris.
62' Nepomuceno fires straight at Steffen off his left foot. Boyd now wins a free-kick to relieve some of the mounting tension.
62' Berhalter must be considering a change. USA have been completely ponderous in possession. Zardes in particular has made almost no impression on the match.
60' We've almost reached the hour mark and there's still only one goal separating the teams. Curacao can be extremely proud of how well they're competing.
57' Pulisic almost sparks his team into action! The attacker turns and shoots low, hard and wide of the target. He's unhappy not to have won a corner.
56' USA strung together more than 10 passes in the lead-up to their goal, the second time they have done that in this tournament. More of that fluidity is needed to give life to this half.
54' Nepomuceno looks to bend one inside the bottom-left corner. Steffen had the post covered.
51' Ream's lazy pass almost exposes USA's defence. This has been a lacklustre start to the second half from the reigning Gold Cup champions, who have been sluggish in possession.
49' Right-back Gaari makes a timely interception after Boyd found a promising pocket of space around the edge of the area.
47' Boyd runs a long way down the right flank, only to float a poor cross out of play at the end of it all.
47' Curacao registered seven shots to USA's four during the first half, so don't think this game is over yet!
46' Back underway in Philadelphia as USA lead Curacao 1-0 in this Gold Cup quarter-final!
Curacao should take a lot of heart from that half. While chances have been rare, their attacking play has been creditable and the underdogs look reasonably sound at the back. More of the same should make for a fascinating second 45 minutes.
Job done so far for Berhalter's men, although this match is far from over. McKennie broke the deadlock with a 25th-minute header as provider Pulisic made amends for squandering an earlier chance. USA have otherwise been a little flat and will not feel entirely comfortable with either the scoreline or the flow of proceedings.
45' Oh, that could have been a great chance for Gorre! The winger races onto a defence-splitting pass and should shoot, but he hesitates and Ream makes a crucial interception.
44' A nervy moment for Steffen! The goalkeeper's heavy touch almost invites trouble, but he stretches to hack clear.
42' With their fourth corner, Curacao finally threaten. Lachman rises and should do better with a header that balloons over.
40' McKennie makes good progress down the right and links up with Boyd, whose cross is headed up into the air by Cuco Martina. Curacao eventually get it clear.
39' The wave goes up around Lincoln Financial Field as half-time approaches. USA continue to lead 1-0.
38' Positive play from Gorre as he cuts inside from the left and unleashes a shot which curls over Steffen's crossbar.
36' Chance! Arriola and Pulisic combine to tee up Bradley with a shooting opportunity, but the experienced midfielder drags his left-footed effort the wrong side of the right post.
35' Steffen advances off his line and confidently claims a cross, then plays his part in building from the back with a calm pass under pressure.
34' The challenge now for Curacao is to reach the break without further damage. They certainly haven't been overwhelmed in this contest.
32' Nepomuceno can't beat the first man with Curacao's second corner. Their set-pieces have been a source of frustration.
Shermaine Martina
Yellow Card
30' Shermaine Martina barges over Pulisic and receives the first booking of the match. The midfielder will now be suspended for the semi-final if Curacao overturn this deficit.
30' McKennie's goal is his second as a senior international. Not a bad way to celebrate a new contract at Schalke!
28' Zardes strays offside to curtail a promising USA move. Pockets of space are beginning to appear in and around the Curacao defence.
C. Pulišić
United States
25' That's Pulisic's third assist of the Gold Cup, and it was classy. The winger weighted his delivery to perfection.
W. McKennie
United States
25' GOALLL!!! McKennie nods USA into the lead but it's all about Pulisic. The captain isolated his marker on the left, cut back onto his right foot and lofted an inviting cross into the middle for midfielder McKennie to head home. It's 1-0!
24' Cuco Martina looks to be playing with serious confidence. He just sprinted forward in a bid to join up with an attack after bringing the ball into midfield.
22' Bacuna wins possession from Boyd, then gives it straight back to USA. Curacao have moved their defensive line higher up the pitch and will need to guard against dangerous turnovers.
20' Centre-back Zimmerman attempts to drop another audacious cross in behind the Curacao defence. This one runs beyond Arriola.
18' Good from Zimmerman. His ball over the top reaches Arriola, but the winger can only hook it into the path of a watchful Room.
16' USA have connected with almost 90 per cent of their passes as we cross the 15-minute mark. Goalmouth action has been scarce since that Pulisic chance.
13' Curacao opt to go short with their first corner and it breaks down almost immediately. Hooi eventually gets a shot away that isn't troubling Steffen.
12' Bradley puts far too much on an intended pass for Lima and Curacao are able to take a breather. They're already sagging relatively deep.
10' Statie dives in on Lima and gives away a free-kick in a dangerous area. Pulisic's delvery drifts over everybody and runs out for a throw-in.
9' The hosts are dominating possession in these first 10 minutes, with Bradley getting plenty of touches.
6' Pulisic is looking dangerous already, although he will be disappointed not to have turned home that last chance. Room did extremely well to tip it over the crossbar.
4' Outstanding save from Room! The goalkeeper throws out a glove and somehow manages to deny Pulisic, who contorts his body to meet Arriola's cut-back but can't make a convincing connection.
3' USA are aiming to win a ninth straight Gold Cup match, a streak that would be second only to the 12 consecutive victories Mexico recorded between 1993 and 2000.
1' Pulisic shoots wide! It's an end-to-end start as Curacao make an early incursion into the box, before USA break away. Pulisic drives at the heart of defence but arrows his effort past the left post.
1' Kick-off! USA get the game started against Curacao in this Gold Cup quarter-final in Philadelphia.
The players are out on the pitch and the anthems are underway!
The winner of this match will advance to face Jamaica, who earlier edged Panama 1-0. Haiti and Mexico are set to square off in the other semi-final.
Curacao coach Bicenti makes a couple of tweaks to the team that grabbed that precious point last time out. Michael Maria and Jarchinio Antonia drop out as winger Gorre and midfielder Shermaine Martina step into the starting side. Everton-owned Cuco Martina wears the armband, while Cardiff City's Bacuna offers a goal threat from deep.
After making wholesale changes for the narrow victory over Panama, USA boss Gregg Berhalter returns to the tried and tested XI that contested the opening two group games. That means Columbus Crew forward Zardes leads the line ahead of Jozy Altidore, with Arriola and Boyd continuing either side of him. Chelsea new boy Pulisic adds star power in midfield and captains his country in his home state.
Curacao substitutes: Zeus de la Paz, Jairzinho Pieter, Shermar Martina, Michael Maria, Jurich Carolina, Jarchinio Antonia, Shanon Carmelia, Gino van Kessel, Gersinio Constansia, Jimbertson Vapor.
Curacao XI (4-4-2): Eloy Room; Jurien Gaari, Cuco Martina, Darryl Lachman, Ayrton Statie; Leandro Bacuna, Elson Hooi, Shermaine Martina, Kenji Gorre; Gevaro Nepomuceno, Jafar Arias.
USA substitutes: Sean Johnson, Tyler Miller, Omar Gonzalez, Reggie Cannon, Daniel Lovitz, Matt Miazga, Will Trapp, Cristian Roldan, Djordje Mihailovic, Jordan Morris, Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Lewis.
USA XI (4-3-3): Zack Steffen; Nick Lima, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, Tim Ream; Weston McKennie, Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic; Paul Arriola, Gyasi Zardes, Tyler Boyd.
Curacao, meanwhile, have done well simply to make it this far. Jurien Gaari's late goal in a 1-1 draw against Jamaica sent Remko Bicentini's men through to the knockout rounds for the first time in their history. Defeating an experienced Honduras in the previous match highlighted Curacao as a team on the rise, with a second Gold Cup appearance already a success.
An expectant crowd in Philadelphia will want to see goals with the host nation tipped to enjoy a comfortable route into the final four. USA scored 11 times on the way to topping Group D as victories over Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama gave them a perfect haul of nine points. Still, performances have not been entirely convincing and a show of strength here feels necessary.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this Gold Cup quarter-final between the United States and Curacao!