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U.S. kicks past Jamaica, advances

WASHINGTON -- Jermaine Jones scored in the 49th minute and Clint Dempsey in the 80th in the United States' 2-0 victory over Jamaica Sunday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals.

On Wednesday in Houston, the United States will face Panama, which defeated El Salvador.

Jones fired a shot from outside the penalty area and Jamaica defender Jermaine Taylor stuck out his foot, deflecting the ball past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. It was Jones' first goal of the tournament.

Taylor came out on the losing end of another exchange between the two nearly 20 minutes later. Jones beat the defense in the middle of Jamaica's half and was about to break free for a one-on-one chance when Taylor tackled him from behind, earning a red card in the 67th minute.

With Jamaica down a man, Dempsey scored the second goal with 10 minutes to play. Juan Agudelo's cross found Dempsey alone on the left side of the goal. Ricketts came out to contest, and Dempsey avoided the tackle and put the ball in the empty net.

Dempsey also scored in the group-stage opener against Canada.

Jamaica entered the game as the only team in the tournament to win all three of its group-stage games without allowing a goal, but the Reggae Boyz failed to earn their first ever win against the United States.

Both teams had scoring chances in the first half, although neither team capitalized. Jamaica had its best opportunity early on, and it took an excellent save by goalie Tim Howard to knock away Demar Phillips' shot from the left side of the goal box in the fourth minute.

Team USA also suffered a blow early when striker Jozy Altidore left with a strained left hamstring and was replaced by Agudelo in the 12th minute.

Jones seemed to be in position for a goal late in the opening half, when Rickett saved a shot by Agudelo and the rebound bounced straight to Jones, but he couldn't control the ball.

Midfielders Landon Donovan and Dempsey had not trained with the team in Washington before the match. Each was excused to attend their sisters' weddings -- Dempsey in Texas and Donovan in California.

Each of the players arrived in Washington early Sunday morning. Dempsey was in the starting lineup, but Donovan was a substitute. It was the first U.S. game Donovan began on the bench since June 9, 2007.

Donovan entered in the 65th minute to a huge cheer from the crowd, replacing Alejandro Bedoya.

-- AP

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