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Gold Cup quarterfinal: USMNT player ratings vs. Canada

The USMNT is through to the Gold Cup semifinals after a dramatic, back-and-forth penalty shootout victory over rivals Canada. 

The U.S. thought they'd won it in the 88th minute, only for Canada to equalize at 90+3'. Then the dramatics were reversed in extra time as the Canucks went up 2-1 in the 109th-minute before the Americans found a leveler in the 114th. 

In the shootout Matt Turner prevailed as Canada could only convert two of five attempts, and up next for the States is a semifinal against Panama on Wednesday night in San Diego. 

2023 Gold Cup quarterfinal: USMNT player ratings vs Canada

3 stars of the game

#1. Matt Turner

When you save two in a shootout and another goes off the crossbar, you're the hero. There was nothing he could do on Canada's goals in regular time, but he showed why he's America's No. 1 when it mattered most. 

The opening shootout save on Steven Vitória — after the defender had beaten him from the spot in regular time — was epic.

#2. DeJuan Jones

The standout moment of his night was the assist for Brandon Vázquez, but Jones was just as good defensively at left back. The 26-year-old New England Revolution man started the tournament behind John Tolkin on the depth chart, but Jones has seized the opportunity in a big way.  

#3. Gianluca Busio

I thought Busio, like in his performance against T&T, put himself in great positions to make big contributions but lacked that sharpness in the final third. However, he was box-to-box, forcing Dayne St. Clair into two saves and Scott Kennedy's 114th-minute own goal, while winning a lot of midfield duels.

And Busio turned clinical when it mattered in the shootout.

2 who failed to shine

#1. Alejandro Zendejas

Zendejas was given his fourth straight start, this time switched over to the left wing, but the results were still the same. The 25-year-old couldn't beat his man, turned it over quite a bit and spent a lot of time on the ground. It wasn't surprising to see Zendejas get hooked first, and Cade Cowell — who again excelled off the bench — needs to start against Panama.    

#2. The Jalen Neal-Miles Robinson partnership 

After an impressive group stage, the 19-year-old Neal had a very shaky evening and was replaced by Matt Miazga in the 73rd minute. His passing, which had previously been sharp and progressive, went wayward.

Robinson's night was a tale of handballs. The first, in first-half stoppage time, went to review and was a clear offense but Robinson lucked out because of a perceived push on Busio elsewhere. The second, however, was called in second-half stoppage time and allowed Canada to equalize. He was then replaced by Aaron Long.

1 who was a hero and then suffered a hubristic fall 

#1. Brandon Vázquez 

Early in the second half the fans at TQL Stadium started chanting "we want Vázquez" in support of their local FC Cincinnati striker. Vázquez finally arrived in the 73rd minute, and in the 88th he thought he had the match-winner with an emphatic header.

The 24-year-old celebrating the goal right in front of a massive cutout of his own face was just too perfect; it was storybook stuff (until Canada's equalizer). 

Vázquez now has an impressive international tally of four goals in seven caps.

Then in the shootout, after Turner saved Canada's first, Vázquez went first for the U.S. to really establish the tone. I would've bet my beating heart on him converting but I'd be dead – Vázquez sent one flying into the Cincinnati night sky. 

Jesus Ferreira starts against Panama.

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