07/21/2013 07:25 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2013

U.S. Soccer Beats El Salvador To Reach Gold Cup Semifinals (VIDEO)

Video: Landon Donovan extends US lead

By Allen Ramsey,

BALTIMORE -- The U.S. national team is headed back to the Gold Cup semifinals after a 5-1 win over El Salvador Sunday, with Landon Donovan continuing to play a valuable part during his return to the international setup.

Donovan played a vital role in goals from Clarence Goodson and Joe Corona that gave the USA a two-goal lead early on. Even though Rodolfo Zelaya netted from the spot before the break, Eddie Johnson's powerful header early in the second half off a Donovan assist, a Donovan goal of his own and then a Diskerud goal from Donovan gave the USA all the cushion it needed to take home a lopsided win in front of a sellout crowd -- one with a heavy Salvadoran presence -- at M&T Bank Stadium.

With the USA controlling possession in the early going, Diskerud whiffed on the USA's best early chance 14 minutes in, fanning on an attempt from the top of the box after being set up by overlapping right back Michael Parkhurst.

The Americans got their lead soon after, though, as Goodson scored in the 22nd minute. After a well-worked short corner, Donovan cut back from the line through defender Mardoqueo Henriquez' legs and found Goodson, who tallied his fifth international goal.

Nick Rimando preserved the lead in the 26th minute with two huge saves, first on a point blank shot and then sprawling back to keep out the rebound by the post.

That defensive work was rewarded on the other end of the field three minutes later, as Corona netted his second goal of the tournament, doing so against the birth country of his mother. After a flowing move that involved Donovan rushing forward, Chris Wondolowski delivered the final touch to Corona, who cut around a defender and slotted home.

Despite the USA controlling the run of play, Zelaya sliced the deficit in half off a Panenka penalty kick in the 39th minute after making a run across the top of the box and being fouled by DaMarcus Beasley.

The USA looked to regain full control on the scoreboard early into the second half and managed to do so through an impact substitution. Johnson scored a valuable insurance goal 14 seconds after replacing Chris Wondolowski with a power header off another short corner to make it 3-1.

Donovan delivered the assist off yet another short corner, and he then put the game out of reach with a breakaway goal in the 78th minute. Johnson returned the favor with a flicked-on header, which Donovan rushed onto, rounded goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo and finished into an empty net.

Donovan capped his day in the 84th minute, cutting a ball back for Diskerud, who headed past a helpless Portillo for his second international goal, and his first since an equalizer in a November friendly against Russia.

With his performance Sunday, Donovan -- who was robbed of a second goal by a goal-line header -- now has 54 goals and 55 assists in his international career.



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