It was one of those wins that somehow felt more like a tie, at best. But at least it wasn't a loss. For the record, the United States defeated...

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It was one of those wins that somehow felt more like a tie, at best.

But at least it wasn’t a loss.

For the record, the United States defeated Canada 2-0 yesterday at Qwest Field, thanks to an own goal and a header from star forward Landon Donovan in extra time.

But this hardly seemed like anything to celebrate, even though U.S. coach Bruce Arena talked of returning to the team hotel and popping champagne corks in recognition of the team’s advancement to the Gold Cup quarterfinals.

“Overall, not a bad performance on our part,” Arena said. “Our main failure is not getting that second goal earlier to put the game away.”

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a native of Lacey, was happy with the shutout but little else.

“We let Canada stay in the game to the end, and that’s frustrating,” he said. “Overall, I was happy with the defensive effort.”

CONCACAF Gold Cup @ Qwest Field

Yesterday’s games: United States 2, Canada 0 | Costa Rica 3, Cuba 1

For the second straight game, the U.S. couldn’t put away an underdog opponent until late. The Americans trailed Cuba 1-0 in its Gold Cup opener on Thursday, but rallied for a 4-1 win.

Yesterday, after a scoreless first half, Canada gave the U.S. a boost about three minutes into the second half. U.S. midfielder John O’Brien’s shot glanced off Canada’s Atiba Hutchinson, redirecting the ball past Canadian goalkeeper Greg Sutton.

That was just the start of a flurry of second-half scoring opportunities for the Americans, as the U.S. kept up the tempo in front of a crowd of 15,109.

Donovan’s goal — after 43 more minutes of offensive dominance but nothing to show for it — was the capper. He bent down to get his head on a crossing pass from teammate DaMarcus Beasley and knocked the ball into the net for his third 2005 Gold Cup goal. It also was Donovan’s 25th career goal with the U.S. National Team, moving him into sole possession of third place on the all-time goal-scoring list.

The U.S. did show two things, if not an ability to put a less-talented team away:

• It has depth, with Arena using 22 of the 23 players on his roster in the two games played in Seattle.

• It does not succumb to fatigue, scoring four of its six goals in the two games in the last five minutes of the matches.

“We’re a much better second-half team,” forward Patrick Noonan said. “It should have been 2-0 a lot earlier.”

The Group B standings are holding form. Thanks to its win, the U.S. is tied for first place in the group with Costa Rica, which defeated Cuba 3-1 earlier in the day.

The U.S. and Costa Rica, with six points apiece (winning teams receive three per group win), will move on to the Gold Cup quarterfinal round. The top two teams from each of the three groups advance, plus the top two third-place finishers overall.

Costa Rica and the U.S. meet in Foxborough, Mass., on Tuesday in the Group B final. The loser still advances, and if there is a tie, the team with the most goals in group play is the winner. The U.S. has six goals in two games; Costa Rica has four.

Arena said the U.S. will use a mixture of the two starting lineups it fielded in the first two games.

The best scoring chances yesterday included defender Greg Vanney’s first-half blast from 20 yards out on the left that went just wide. Later, in the 35th minute, Noonan headed the ball directly in front of the net, and a teammate flicked the ball back to Donovan. Donovan had a good shot but didn’t get enough on it, as Canada’s Gabriel Gervais cleared the ball away.

In the second half, Noonan had a shot that glanced off the crossbar above the goal.

Keller was rarely threatened, but Canada did mount a stronger attack late in the game. It wasn’t enough, however, as the Canadians’ inexperience and inability to finish off chances were exposed.

The U.S. also outshot Canada 13-5 and improved to 26-4-3 in all-time Gold Cup play.

The Americans left Seattle with their non-losing streak against Canada intact. The U.S. has either defeated or tied Canada in 11 straight meetings, and hasn’t allowed a Canadian goal since a 2-2 tie in 1993.

“Maybe I ran over a black cat or something,” Canadian coach Frank Yallop said, “but it’s going to change for us.”

Game summary


Canada 0 0 — 0
United States 0 2 — 2
First half — None. Second half — 1, United States, own goal, 48th minute. 2, United States, Donovan 3 (Beasley), 90th (injury time).

Yellow cards — De Rosario, Can, 23rd; Serioux, Can, 26th; Donovan, US, 45th; Mastroeni, US, 75th; Serioux, Can, 82nd; Onyewu, US, 90th. Red card — Serioux, Can, 82nd. Referee — Neal Brizan, Trinidad and Tobago. Linesmen — Joseph Taylor, Trinidad and Tobago; Anthony Garwood, Jamaica. A — 15,109 (est).

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or

This Landonis our Landon
U.S. forward Landon Donovan, 23, moved into third place all-time on the U.S. national team career-goals list yesterday and ranks among the leaders in several categories:
International career goals
No. Player Goals
1. Eric Wynalda 34
2. Brian McBride 28
3. Landon Donovan 25
Career assists
No. Player Assists
1. Cobi Jones 22
2. Claudio Reyna 18
(tie) Landon Donovan 18
2005 goals
No. Player Goals
1. Landon Donovan 6
2. Eddie Johnson 3
3. Eddie Lewis 2
(tie) Brian McBride 2
Career Gold Cup goals
No. Player Goals
1. Eric Wynalda 9
2. Landon Donovan 8
(tie) Brian McBride 8