Canada in Gold Cup semi-finals

Ali Gerba scored two goals in the first half and Canada reached the Gold Cup semifinals for the second time in the last four tournaments.

updated: June 18, 2007 12:09 IST
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Ali Gerba scored two goals in the first half and Canada reached the Gold Cup semifinals for the second time in the last four tournaments with a 3-0 win over Guatemala on Saturday.

Gerba scored in the 33rd and 44th minutes after Dwayne De Rosario was credited with the first goal in the 17th.

Canada tightened its defense in the second half against a tiring Guatemala. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad, playing because Canada's top two goalkeepers were injured, made his only save in the first half.

"I was very surprised because I thought they would play very similar to how they played the US and put pressure," Canada manager Stephen Hart said. "It didn't happen."

Canada advanced to a semifinal meeting against the defending champion United States, which defeated Panama 2-1 later Saturday.

On Sunday in Houston, Honduras faces Guadeloupe and Mexico plays Costa Rica in the other quarterfinals.

The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday night at Soldier Field in Chicago, where the final will be played three days later.

Canada won the Gold Cup in 2000 and lost in the semifinals to the United States in 2002.

Mexico, which has won four times, and the United States, with three titles, are the only other champions since the tournament began in 1991.

"Canada was very superior in all points," Guatemala coach Hernan Dario Gomez said. "They were in better condition. They were in the same formation. Three or four times they got to our goal (and) they were able to finish."

De Rosario, who plays for the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer, scored his third goal of the tournament when he was credited with touching at the goal line a shot from Gerba.

Gerba had kicked a ball from the right side to the right of goalkeeper Ricardo Tigueno that went through De Rosario's legs. Gerba and Canada coach Stephen Hart said Gerba scored the goal.

"I saw the goalkeeper coming out and I went to the opposite side," Gerba said. "As a forward, it's always good to score and play well, but you can't do it by yourself."

Gerba, who plays for FC Goteborg in Sweden, scored both his goals on passes from Julian DeGuzman.

De Rosario made it 2-0 on an open shot from seven yards out that went to Tigueno's left. His next goal resulted from outstanding team work. Ante Jazic crossed the ball from the left side to DeGuzman, who shot from the top of the box. Gerba deflected the ball in.

Canada had a 2-1 record in group play, finishing first in Group A. Onstad played in the first game when he was serving a one-game suspension for a red card with Houston.

No. 1 goalkeeper Greg Sutton took over for the second game, a loss to Guadeloupe, but Onstad played in the third game after Sutton suffered a concussion.

Guatemala was second in Group B with four points, having lost to the United States.