Donovan helps US to 5-1 win over El Salvador
Landon Donovan scored once and set up three other goals as the United States cruised to a 5-1 win over El Salvador on Sunday to move into a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match against Honduras.
Clarence Goodson and Joe Corona scored in the first half and Eddie Johnson, Donovan and Mix Diskerud added second-half goals for the Americans. Honduras beat Costa Rica 1-0 later Sunday to secure its spot on the semifinals on Wednesday.
''I think Landon proved again today how valuable he is and how he can make a difference,'' coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. ''This game was important for coaches to see who is a difference maker. Overall, we see our team clicking more and playing better and better.''
The U.S. has won nine consecutive full internationals - a national record. The Americans have also prevailed in seven of their last eight Gold Cup matches, the exception being a 4-2 loss to Mexico in 2011 final.
''We are trying to catch up with the big teams in the world,'' Klinsmann said. ''It's all about speed. I'm not talking about physical speed. I'm talking about mental speed, passing speed with every player going both ways. That's what we're working to. This is a process and I think that process is coming along.''
Goodson put the U.S. ahead in the 21st minute after a cross from Donovan. Eight minutes later, Corona drove in a right-foot shot from the edge of the area to make it 2-0.
El Salvador's only goal came in the 39th minute when Rodolfo Zelaya was fouled by DaMarcus Beasley and converted the penalty kick to make it 2-1.
''The difference today was scoring early goals,'' Donovan said. ''Even though they got a questionable goal back, we still kept going and our effort was really good. Obviously, to score five goals is a bonus.''
Johnson's header to a Donovan cross gave the Americans a 3-1 lead on the hour. Donovan scored in the 78th to become the first player in history to score in six Gold Cup tournaments.
In the later match, Andy Najar scored with a header in the 49th minute as Honduras squeezed past Costa Rica.
The semifinals will be held Wednesday at Arlington, Texas. Panama will take on Mexico in the other semifinal.