US 3, Honduras 1

US beats Honduras to earn Gold Cup final berth

Landon Donovan collected two goals and some kudos in the US’s 10th straight win.
ronald martinez/getty images
Landon Donovan collected two goals and some kudos in the US’s 10th straight win.

ARLINGTON, Texas — By even the very high standards of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan is regaining top form after taking a break from the national team.

Donovan scored two goals and set up another Wednesday night, helping the United States beat Honduras, 3-1, to advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

Klinsmann said the performance was ‘‘wonderful to watch.’’


‘‘I have told him in our conversations that ‘I measure you. Your benchmark is the best Landon Donovan ever,’ ’’ Klinsmann said. ‘‘I’m not taking anything less than that.’’

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While Klinsmann has declined to confirm that Donovan will be rejoining the World Cup qualifying team later this year, the top goal scorer in US history clearly belongs.

Donovan has five goals in the tournament, tying him with teammate Chris Wondolowski for most in the Gold Cup. Donovan has set up seven goals.

‘‘It’s the most relaxed I’ve felt,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘I feel good, and I’m really enjoying it.’’

The Americans will play the winner of Panama, which defeated Mexico, 2-1, on Sunday in Chicago. The US has won a team-record 10 straight games.


The US struck first when Donovan found Eddie Johnson running through the middle of the Honduran defense. Johnson took a dribble and powered a shot past goalkeeper Donis Escober, giving the US a lead 11 minutes into the game.

In the 27th minute, Johnson started another scoring sequence with a pass to midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. Donovan received Bedoya’s short chip off his chest in the middle of the goal box and poked a shot past Escober.

‘‘The first 30 minutes was brilliant football. Brilliant, high pressure, high tempo,’’ Klinsmann said.

Nery Medina of Honduras made it a one-goal game in the 52d minute, heading in a cross from Marvin Chavez. The Americans countered a minute later when Bedoya ran down a long ball from Clarence Goodson and crossed it to Donovan, who scored from a few yards out.

After the game, it was uncertain whether Klinsmann would be suspended for the final after being ejected in the 87th minute for slamming a ball into the ground. A CONCACAF official said the referee would file a report with CONCACAF’s disciplinary committee, which will announce a decision in the next day or two.