Final, 1-0 United States: The referee blows the final whistle. Team USA beats Paraguay and advances to the quarterfinals of Copa America 2016.
Dempsey’s goal was the difference in the score line, but the hearts, minds and souls of the current United States players have carried them through to the knockout rounds. Paraguay dominated the second half in the aftermath of Yedlin’s dismissal, but the U.S. defense held firm amid some of the greatest pressure it has faced since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brooks and Guzan joined the ranks of U.S. soccer’s new-age heroes.
Team USA sits atop Group A, pending the outcome of Colombia-Costa Rica. Regardless of how that game plays out, Team USA has hit its first objective in progressing from one of the most difficult groups in the competition.
Meanwhile, Paraguay is heading home due to its lack of firepower.
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90th minute, 1-0 United States: There will be six minutes of added time in the second half.
90th minute, 1-0 United States: Johnson’s effort deflects out for a corner kick, giving Team USA a minute’s reprieve from Paraguay’s pressure.
89th minute, 1-0 United States: Paraguay’s Gustavo Gomez appears to have scored, but the referee’s assistant rules him offside.
88th minute, 1-0 United States: Jones receives a yellow card, joining the caution party in Philly.
87th minute, 1-0 United States: Beckerman curls a left-footed shot narrowly wide from distance. It would have been the goal of his career.
85th minute, 1-0 United States: Ayala misses the target with a long-range free kick.
83rd minute, 1-0 United States: Holding midfielder Kyle Beckerman replaces Wood, as Klinsmann makes his third, and final, substitution.
82nd minute, 1-0 United States: Brooks makes the first block, and Guzan follows with two saves , as Team USA escapes Paraguay’s best chance at scoring the game-tying goal. Almiron can’t believe what Guzan managed to do.
80th minute, 1-0 United States: Lezcano heads Iturbe’s cross over the bar.
79th minute, 1-0 United States: The referee cautions Orozco for a foul on Iturbe.
78th minute, 1-0 United States: Paraguay’s Victor Ayala shown a yellow card for colliding with Zardes.
76th minute, 1-0 United States: Paraguay is putting 10-man USA under intense pressure by dominating the ball and territory in the second half.
75th minute, 1-0 United States: Midfielder Graham Zusi replaces Alejandro Bedoya in a seemingly like-for-like replacement.
71st minute, 1-0 United States: The referee cautions Rojas for a tackle from behind on Wood.
Wood earns himself a yellow card, too, for pushing Rojas after the play.
Didn’t someone say something about Philadelphia being the “City of Brotherly Love.” This is more like the soccer version of the Broad St. Bullies.
67th minute, 1-0 United States: Referee Julio Bascunan stops play, apparently because he suffered an injury.
This comes moments after he failed to penalize a Paraguay defender for a foul on Wood, after the U.S. striker skinned a pair of opponents with a dribble.
63rd minute, 1-0 United States: Defender Jorge Benitez replaces Tonny Sanabria in Paraguay’s final substitution.
62nd minute, 1-0 United States: Zardes fails to finish off a counter-attack after Wood set him up perfectly. Paulo da Silva broke up the play, as Zardes set himself up to shoot.
The U.S. winger probably should have shot earlier.
59th minute, 1-0 United States: The referee shows Bradley a yellow card. The U.S. captain protests forcefully before walking away.
55th minute, 1-0 United States: Rodrigo Rojas replaces Ortiz, as Paraguay makes its second substitution.
50th minute, 1-0 United States: Klinsmann reacts to Yedlin’s dismissal by replacing Dempsey with defender Michael Orozco.
Team USA returns to a four-back setup, with Orozco lining up at right back.
Bobby Wood likely will be playing as a lone striker.
48th minute, 1-0 United States: The referee shows Yedlin a second yellow card for a tackle from behdind on Miguel Samudio.
The U.S. is playing with 10 players following Yedlin’s red card.
47th minute, 1-0 United States: The referee shows U.S. defender DeAndre Yedlin a yellow card for a hard tackle on Paraguay’s Miguel Almiron.
46th minute, 1-0 United States: The second half is under way.
Paraguay made a substitution at halftime, replacing defender Fabian Balbuena with forward Juan Iturbe.
Halftime, 1-0 United States: That’s the end of the first half. Team USA leads by one.
The United States’ job is half finished, and the quarterfinals are within touching distance after a fine first half for the home team. Dempsey’s goal provides the difference in score, but the organized and committed U.S. players also deserve credit for their first-half display.
Brooks’ tackle and Guzan’s save denied Paraguay’s best scoring chances. The South American side was otherwise ineffective as it approached the game patiently, looking to capitalize on Team USA’s mistakes. Unfortunately for Paraguay, the hosts didn’t make many.
History suggests Team USA should prepare for the knockout rounds, but Klinsmann won’t let his players lose focus until they complete the job, regardless of what the stats say.
45th minute, 1-0 United States: Lezcano races in behind the U.S. defense, but Guzan saves his shot at the near post. Lezcano will regret not scoring the game-tying goal there.
45th minute, 1-0 United States: There will be one minute of added time in the first half.
40th minute, 1-0 United States: Both sides appear more comfortable trying to counter-attack, instead of building play slowly from the back through the midfield.
It has made for a low number of scoring chances and high volume of fouls and restarts in this case.
37th minute, 1-0 United States: Victor Ayala fires a shot wide of Guzan’s goal in Paraguay’s best chance since Dempsey’s goal.
35th minute, 1-0 United States: That Dempsey scored bodes well for Team USA’s chances.
33rd minute, 1-0 United States: Brooks eliminates more Paraguay danger following a mix-up in the U.S. midfield.
27th minute, 1-0 United States: Dempsey scores, and Team USA takes the lead.
The goal came via counter-attack. Zardes dribbled up the left side and held possession long enough for Dempsey to arrive in the box. Zardes then slid a reverse pass into the Paraguay area, and Dempsey finished with an authoritative first-time shot.
The goal isn’t bad for a player, whose national-team career seemed under threat just a few months ago. As Dempsey goes, so goes the United States.
24th minute, 0-0: Team USA has another free kick near Paraguay’s goal. Dempsey curls it over the top corner from around 25 yards out.
The U.S. could rue not converting these set pieces into better goal-scoring chances.
19th minute, 0-0: Guzan saves Dario Lezcano’s header at the back post.
Moments earlier, Paraguay appealed for a penalty kick, but the referee declined.
13th minute, 0-0: The referee cautions Paraguay midfielder Celso Ortiz for tugging on Gyasi Zardes’ jersey.
11th minute, 0-0: U.S. defender John Brooks probably saves his team a goal with this monumental slide tackle.
Ninth minute, 0-0: U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan collects a Paraguay free kick.
The game has opened in a start-stop manner, as the teams exchange fouls and free kicks.
Fifth minutes, 0-0: Fabian Johnson shoots his free kick into the waiting arms of Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar.
The U.S. has earned a pair of free kicks in promising positions early on.
Second minute, 0-0: It’s an end-to-end start, as Paraguay charges into the U.S. penalty area, only for the hosts to counter-attack. Both efforts come to nothing, but the intent is clear to see.
Kickoff: The Copa America 2016 Group A game between the United States and Paraguay is under way.
Pregame: This is the first competitive game between the United States and Paraguay since the 1930 FIFA World Cup, and Team USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann springs the surprise of the century by doing … nothing.
Klinsmann sticks with the same starting lineup he used in the first two Copa America 2016 games. it’s the first time in his nearly five-year tenure that he names an unchanged lineup in three consecutive games.
He called USA-Paraguay a “knockout game” Friday at his pregame press conference and called on his players to show no fear against the South Americans.
These teams have shown a tendency to concede early, having watched opponents score combined four goals in the first halves.
If Team USA can score early, stats suggest its advantage will be even more pronounced than the old “first goal is the most important goal” adage tells us.
6:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
6 p.m. ET: The United States men’s national soccer team stands 90 minutes away from destiny.
Team USA takes on Paraguay on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., in the teams’ final group-stage game at Copa America 2016. The United States will progress to the quartefinals with a victory or draw, while Paraguay must win in order to leapfrog Team USA in the Group A standings.
Paraguay midfielder Oscar Romero is suspended for the game.
The United States’ John Brooks, Fabian Johnson and Alejandro Bedoya are on yellow-card watch. They’ll miss Team USA’s quarterfinal game if they earn another yellow against Paraguay.
USA-Paraguay kicks off at 7 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Lincoln Financial Field.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images