Football: USA defeat Ecuador 2-1 to reach Copa America Centenario semi-finals

US defender Matt Besler (5) vies for the ball with Ecuador forward Enner Valencia (13) during the second half of quarter-final play in the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at Century Link Field.
US defender Matt Besler (5) vies for the ball with Ecuador forward Enner Valencia (13) during the second half of quarter-final play in the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at Century Link Field.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

Seattle, June 17, 2016 (AFP) - Clint Dempsey scored his third goal in as many games as the United States powered through to the semi-finals of the Copa America Centenario on Thursday in a stormy 2-1 win over Ecuador that saw both sides finish with 10 men.

Dempsey opened the scoring for Jurgen Klinsmann's side on 22 minutes at CenturyLink Field before Los Angeles Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes doubled the US lead in the 65th minute.

Michael Arroyo pulled a goal back for Ecuador in the 74th minute to set up a frantic finale but the US held on and will now face either Argentina or Venezuela in the semi-finals in Houston next week.