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US beats Honduras 2-0 to reach Gold Cup final

CLARENCE Goodson and Kenny Cooper scored to give the United States a 2-0 victory over Honduras at Soldier Field and a spot in their third straight Gold Cup final yesterday.

It was the US team's third win over Honduras in less than seven weeks, and its second at this Gold Cup by the same score.

The Americans, winners of the last two Gold Cups, will play Costa Rica or Mexico in Sunday's final at East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Goodson scored just before halftime, heading in Stuart Holden's corner for his first international goal.

Honduras threatened to level in the 85th but US goalkeeper Troy Perkins made an excellent save on a shot by Carlo Costly, then Jay Heaps made a sliding block to clear the rebound and end the threat.

Cooper then sealed the victory five minutes later after a nice exchange by Brian Ching and Holden. Ching flicked the ball to Holden off his back heel, and Holden crossed to Cooper, who one-timed it past Honduras keeper Donis Escobar.

The US stunned the football world last month by upsetting European champion Spain before falling to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final. The Gold Cup doesn't have quite the same buzz, but this run was impressive in its own right.

US coach Bob Bradley did a complete makeover of his squad after the Confederations Cup, letting most of his top players return to their MLS teams or take time off ahead of the European season. In their place, he brought in a bunch of youngsters, many making their first appearances with the senior team, which was undefeated.


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