It wasn't perfect, but it was enough to get the United States national team on to the semifinals of the 2016 Copa America. The USMNT defeated Ecuador in the quarterfinals by a score of 2-1 to advance to the round that Jurgen Klinsmann said from the beginning was the goal: The semifinals.
In front of a raucous crowd at Seattle's Century Link Field headed by the American Outlaws, the Sounders' Clint Dempsey got the US on the board first with an inch-perfect header into the bottom corner in the 22nd-minute. The half ended with that goal being the difference and the US on top ever so narrowly, although they certainly deserved the lead they held.
The second half got off to a controversial start, with each team going down to ten men in the 52nd-minute. Star Ecuador attacker Antonio Valencia—of Manchester United in the Premier League—was given a second yellow card for a bone-crunching tackle on Alejandro Bedoya while US midfielder Jermaine Jones was handed a straight red for putting his hands to the face of an opposing player in the melee that followed the original ejection.
With the field opened up and Ecuador throwing numbers forward, the United States were able to get players on the counter and finally converted one of their many chances when Gyasi Zardes tapped home a low ball across the six-yard box from Dempsey:
Ecuador continued to press high up the field and eventually picked out a winner in the 74th-minute. Michael Arroyo slammed home a rebound from a set piece to get La Tricolor back into the game, but it wasn't enough, as the US would outlast them in the final minutes to advance to the semi-finals.
There, they will likely play Messi and Argentina barring a major upset by Venezuela. They will not have Bobby Wood, Bedoya, or Jones for that semi-final, however, due to the red card and yellow card accumulation.
For more on the game, take a look at this handy little graphic: