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Dempsey, Zardes power USA into Copa America semis

Oct 14, 2014; Harrison, NJ, USA; Ecuador midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez (18) battles for the ball with El Salvador midfielder Alexander Larin (13) during the first half of their international friendly soccer game at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4A7FJ
Oct 14, 2014; Harrison, NJ, USA; Ecuador midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez (18) battles for the ball with El Salvador midfielder Alexander Larin (13) during the first half of their international friendly soccer game at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4A7FJ

London: USA have booked their place in the semi-final of the Copa America Centenario after beating Ecuador in their last eight clash at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Friday.

USA put themselves ahead when striker Clint Dempsey netted his third goal of the tournament in the 22nd minute to end the first half with a 1-0 lead against Ecuador.

Midfielder Gyasi Zardes then doubled the score for USA in the 65th minute before Ecuader striker Michael Arroyo scored a free kick just nine minutes later to provide his side with some hope.

Although Ecuador continued to apply heavy pressure on the opposition, USA held their one-goal lead until the full-time, the Guardian reported.

It is USA’s fourth ever victory in the knockout stage of a major tournament. The previous three came against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup, Mexico at the 2002 World Cup and Mexico again in the 1995 Copa America.

USA will now face either Argentina or Venezuela in Houston for a place in the finals. (ANI)

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