PHILADELPHIA: The United States battled into the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals here after a Clint Dempsey goal clinched a 1-0 win over Paraguay. Dempsey shot the hosts into the lead on 27 minutes at Lincoln Financial Field to guarantee them a place in the last eight from Group A.
In Houston, Johan Venegas and Celso Borges each scored and Costa Rica benefited from an own goal by Colombia in a 3-2 upset victory to wrap up Group A play.
Colombia had already advanced before this match, earning a berth in the quarterfinals with a win over Paraguay on Tuesday and Costa Rica was eliminated from contention with the United States’ victory.
The loss makes Colombia’s path in the tournament more difficult as the team will likely face Brazil in New Jersey because of the loss.
Paraguay spent long periods in the US half but a backs-to-the-wall defensive display from the Americans saw them hang on for a gritty win. The defeat sealed Paraguay’s worst Copa America display since 2001, the last time they failed to progress beyond the group stage.