DETROIT — Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey each found the back of the net as the US put on a dominant performance to defeat Canada 2-0 in Gold Cup Group C action at Ford Field on Tuesday night.
The Americans piled on the pressure from the opening whistle, pinning Canada back in their own half and forcing a flurry of corner kicks and free kicks that led to a few half-chances for the USA.
It came as no surprise that the Americans opened the scoring at the quarter-hour mark, with Altidore running onto a pass from Landon Donovan, shielding the ball from defender Kevin McKenna and firing it low. Canuck ‘keeper Lars Hirschfeld allowed the seemingly routine save to slip through his hands at the near post and into the goal.
The game opened up a bit after the opener, with Canada pressing for an equalizer. The Americans still had the better of the possession and chances, though, as the Canadians didn’t even earn a corner kick until the half-hour mark.
The Canucks’ first real chance came when New York Red Bulls midfielder Dwayne De Rosario curled the ball inches from the American net after receiving a pass from compatriot Josh Simpson. The US countered by forcing a pair of fine saves from Hirschfeld about 40 minutes in.
The second half started off fast-paced and chippy, with Michael Bradley and Will Johnson trading yellow cards a minute apart. The wide-open play continued as Canada looked to pull level, leading to a couple of back-and-forth sequences that required some last-ditch defending from both teams.
It was the USA who took advantage of the hectic pace, with Dempsey sliding to meet a ball squared by Altidore across the Canadian goal in the 62nd minute to put the game out of reach. The Fulham star scored after nearly finding the back of the net a moment earlier with a stunning volley attempt.
Despite a better second frame from the Canadians — including forcing US goalkeeper Tim Howard into making a couple of great reaction saves inside the final five minutes — the Americans’ quality shone on the day.
Both teams will now travel to Tampa for their second matches in Group C on Saturday, as Canada face Guadeloupe, and the US take on Panama.
USA -- Jozy Altidore, ‘15
USA -- Clint Dempsey, ‘62
USA -- Michael Bradley, 51’
CAN -- Will Johnson, 52’
USA (4-4-2)-- Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Tim Ream, Carlos Bocanegra; Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones (Maurice Edu, 79’), Landon Donovan; Jozy Altidore (Sacha Kljestan, 74’), Juan Agudelo (Chris Wondolowski, 65’)
Subs not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Alejandro Bedoya, Maurice Edu, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu
Canada (4-2-3-1)-- Lars Hirschfeld; Nik Ledgerwood, Kevin McKenna, Andre Hainault, Marcel de Jong; Terry Dunfield (Jonathan Beaulieu-Borgault, 81’), Atiba Hutchinson; Will Johnson (Ali Gerba, 65’), Dwayne De Rosario (Rob Friend, 81’), Josh Simpson; Simeon Jackson
Subs not used: Milan Borjan, Jaime Peters, Mike Klukowski, Tosaint Ricketts
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referees: Hermenerito Leal (GUA), Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Fourth Official: Trevor Taylor (BRB)