EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – John O’Brien and Oguchi Onyewu scored in the final seven minutes, rallying the United States to a 2-1 victory over Honduras on Thursday night in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Mario Ivan Guerrero scored in the 30th minute for Honduras, the last regional rival to win at the United States, a World Cup qualifier at Washington at September 2001.

Honduras, eliminated last year in the semifinals of World Cup qualifying, was headed to a shocking upset that would earn a berth against Panama or Colombia in Sunday’s final of the tournament, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

But O’Brien scored the tying goal in the 86th minute after Onyewu played the ball into the penalty area. It bounced off Landon Donovan, and Honduran defender Erick Vallecilo poked the ball to O’Brien, who scored from 8 yards for his first international goal since the 2002 World Cup opener against Portugal. Then, two minutes into injury time, Donovan sent a free kick to Onyewu, whose header from 4 yards beat goalkeeper Junior Morales for his first goal in eight games with the national team.

U.S. coach Bruce Arena was ejected in the 59th minute for arguing with Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast.

The pair also got into a screaming match following a World Cup qualifier at Costa Rica in July 2000, causing FIFA to suspend Arena for three games, a penalty later reduced to two.

Playing before a crowd of about 40,000 that was 90 percent pro-Honduran, the Americans hardly looked like the world’s sixth-ranked team. Honduras, ranked 39th, played with far more energy for most of the game.

Both teams had trouble and frequently flopped onto a field filled with brown spots, one that resembled a poorly kept municipal golf course.

U.S. defender Eddie Pope sprained his left ankle in the seventh minute when tackled by a Honduran and was replaced in the 15th by Frankie Hejduk.

Hejduk gave up the ball on his own side of the field, creating the goal that put Honduras ahead, with Milton Nunez leading the breakaway and passing to Guerrero, who beat Kasey Keller from 20 yards.

Nunez had but the ball in the net in the 22nd minute, but it was disallowed because of an offsides call.

The same thing happened to the United States in first-half injury time, when Donovan’s shot from just outside the penalty area was saved by goalkeeper Victor Coello, who also saved Steve Ralston’s rebound only to have Josh Wolff put in a shot off the next rebound. But Ralston was offsides on Donovan’s initial shot.

Coello was injured during the sequence and replaced by Junior Morales.Ralston also had a scoring chance in the 36th minute following a corner kick but his shot rebounded off a post.

Pat Noonan, a second half substitute, had a good scoring chance in the 76th minute but Morales saved his glancing header. Donovan was stopped by Morales on a point-blank header in the 83rd.

AP-ES-07-21-05 2025EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.