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SOCCER

U.S. defeats Honduras, 2-0, in Gold Cup

Goals by Quaranta and Ching break a scoreless tie in the last 15 minutes.

July 09, 2009|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Santino Quaranta ended a scoreless tie in the 75th minute and Brian Ching followed with a header in the 79th as the United States defeated Honduras, 2-0, in the Gold Cup on Wednesday.

The two-time defending champion Americans are 2-0 and lead Group B going into their final first-round match against Haiti on Saturday at Foxborough, Mass., where a tie will be enough to let them clinch the group and move into the quarterfinals.

Haiti beat winless Grenada in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, 2-0.

Quaranta took a short pass from Charlie Davies, who replaced Freddy Adu in the 64th minute, at the top of the penalty box and fired in his first goal for the national team.

Four minutes later, Ching put in his header to seal the victory in front of 26,079 at RFK Stadium.

It is nearly an entirely different roster from the U.S. team that made a surprise run to the Confederations Cup final last month; most regulars were given a rest for the Gold Cup.

The U.S. last played Honduras on June 6 in a World Cup qualifier, but the only American who was dressed for that game and Wednesday's match was Benny Feilhaber, who came on in the 64th minute.

Both sides had opportunities before the U.S. broke through. In the 15th, Quaranta had a header go wide of the left post. The Americans had another chance in the 22nd when Ching lobbed over goalkeeper Donis Escobar, but Honduras cleared off the goal line.

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