The United States didn't play well in their Gold Cup opener, but it didn't matter thanks to Clint Dempsey. The American forward scored twice to lead the U.S. to a 2-1 victory over Honduras and send them to the top of Group A.
The U.S. now sit on three points after the first matchday. Panama and Haiti are tied for second with a point apiece, while Honduras are at the bottom on no points.
Hodnduras were on the front foot to start, with the U.S. looking like they didn't know the match had started. Brad Guzan was called into action early and Honduras had several passes that nearly connected for good opportunities. But despite the Catrachos superior play, the Americans survived and eventually got on the board first.
A short corner kick by the U.S. resulted in a mess in front of goal that eventually saw Jozy Altidore get a chance to cross. He did and found Dempsey, who knocked it home to put the U.S. in front.
So the U.S. wasn't playing well. It didn't matter. The Gold Cup group stage is never about looking good because it's impossible to. All they need to do is survive and with a 1-0 halftime lead, they were doing just that.
The second half was a lot more of the same. Honduras kept kicking at the U.S. and the referee let them. That's how it works in CONCACAF and the U.S. is no stranger to it. There were some chances, but not much in the way of rhythm for either team.
Finally, the U.S. doubled their lead when Michael Bradley's gorgeous free kick from 30 yards found Dempsey at the back post. Dempsey nodded it into the back of the net and the Americans were well on their way to victory.
Honduras answered with a quick goal and added some half-chances in the last 10 minutes, but it didn't really endanger the U.S. result. They had done the job and gotten three points. It wasn't pretty, but that didn't matter.
The U.S. will be back in action on Friday when they square off against Haiti in Foxborough, MA. A win there and the Americans will book their spot in the quarterfinals.