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Last-minute goal propels Team USA to Gold Cup final in tense 1-0 victory at Q2 Stadium

Team USA landed a 1-0 victory over 2019 Asian Cup winners Qatar in a battle of persistence on Thursday. (Gold Cup/Twitter)

Something about Q2 Stadium brings the best out of goalkeepers.

Much like Austin FC's Brad Stuver has done throughout the season, U.S. men's national team keeper Matt Turner kept his team alive in a 1-0 victory over Qatar. The match proved to be a battle of stamina as USMNT's Gyasi Zardes netted a last-minute goal to push Team USA to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.


Turner, who has conceded just one goal throughout the tournament, continually tipped off shots by an offensively-minded Qatar and put up three saves. Turner now has 18 saves in the Cup.



The USMNT stumbled through the first half, falling to a 10-shot deficit in the first 45 minutes. Qatar, which gained quick acclaim as the 2019 Asian Cup winners, has not gone scoreless throughout the tournament and has tallied the most goals in the Gold Cup so far.

Qatar saw their biggest shot to topple the U.S. team in the 61st minute after they were awarded a penalty kick. Turner never had to make a save, however, as Hassan Al Haydos missed the crucial shot.

Team USA regrouped and took the reins of the second half, but it was two substitutions by USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter that advanced the team to the continental final.

The two second-half subs, Gyasi Zardes and Nicholas Gioacchini, proved to be the perfect mix for Team USA. As the final whistle loomed, Gioacchini set Zardes up for the first goal of the game in the 86th minute of play.



But Zardes wouldn't take credit for the game-changing goal.

"It's not just me, it's a whole team effort," Zardes told FS1. "It was a tight game, they're a great team, but our starters did a phenomenal job at wearing them out... and trying to create opportunities to where when the subs came in, we were able to make a difference."

An outmatched Qatar wasn't able to gain ground as the final tally went 1-0 to the U.S. in Q2 Stadium.

While some were concerned at stadium turnout before the match began, the stadium slowly swelled to near capacity as usual in Austin. Berhalter, whose son Sebastian Berhalter is a midfielder at Austin FC, has previously shown admiration for the MLS' newest stadium.



This was the second national team match held in Austin in under a month after the women's national team christened the pitch in June.

Next up, Team USA will play the winners of the Mexico vs. Canada semifinal, which takes place at 9 p.m. Thursday, in the Gold Cup final. The final round of the continent's biggest tournament will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Las Vegas.

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