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US 2 El Salvador 0

21 July 2017

El Salvador knew they were underdogs against the United States on Wednesday night so pulled out all the stops in an attempt to upset the odds in their Concacaf Gold Cup quarter-final.

"My girl is mad at me", he said. "She's like 'Only I can bite you, only I can grab your nipples'". "I'm going to go back to the hotel and talk to her about that, she what she says", he joked.

"You can't go around bitting people". That's insane. [The nipple twisting] should be allowed, but the biting is no good.

Omar Gonzalez got the US going with a goal late in the first half. Gonzalez said after the game he was bitten on the back of his left shoulder, by Darwin Cerin in the 81st minute.

Arena started 22 players in three group-stage matches, the USA going 2-0-1 to win Group B in form that was rarely convincing.

El Salvador nearly scored with their first attack when striker Rodolfo Zelaya pounced on a poor back pass by Lichaj but was brilliantly foiled as he entered the area by the out-rushing Tim Howard's dive to palm the ball away from his feet.

Arena did mention that after about 30 minutes, the team played more assertive and got things going but Arena was right, the USA was too slow to start. And it will again on Wednesday in Texas, where the Americans will meet a 3-0-1 Costa Rican side that's yielded just one goal in four games. For the first 35 minutes it looked as if they wouldn't ever string more than a few passes together.

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The US certainly have a big game looming Saturday as they're set to face a Costa Rica team that routed them 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier this past November.

In a game the U.S. were heavily favored, in a tournament they expect to contest the final at the very least, this was no masterclass from by Bruce Arena's men.

The Americans were unlucky to be denied an opening goal midway through the half when Clint Dempsey released Gyasi Zardes who lifted his finish above Derby Carrillo, only to be flagged for offside.

Referee Drew Fischer did not punish either El Salvador players, although Romero was booked earlier in the game.

It's Gonzalez's third goal in his 43rd cap.

Dempsey may be slowing down, and he certainly doesn't play any defense or apply pressure to ball handlers, but holy hell does he still pop up with game-changing moments of magic.

"CONCACAF never ceases to amaze me", said Altidore.

US 2 El Salvador 0