Clint Dempsey and the USMNT celebrating his goal in their 1-0 win over Haiti. (Photo: Twitter/SI)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Clint Dempsey scored in the 47th minute to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Haiti in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Friday night.
Brad Guzan made a pair of point-blank saves in the second half for the Americans. The defending champions improved to 2-0 in the opening round and clinched the group title. They will play in the quarterfinals at Baltimore on July 18.
Gyasi Zardes entered as a substitute for Jozy Altidore at the start of the second half, and the move immediately paid off. Greg Garza played the ball forward to Zardes, and Zardes cut a pass back to Dempsey, who scored with a right-footed shot from about 12 yards.
Dempsey has scored in the last four games he's played for the U.S. national team, one shy of the record Altidore set two years ago. Dempsey's 44 international goals are 13 shy of Landon Donovan's American record.
The Americans have won six in a row, are 30-1-2 in Gold Cup group play and have reached the knockout stage of all 13 Gold Cup tournaments. They have one game remaining in the group stage, against Panama on Monday in Kansas City, Kansas.
Haiti, which is 0-1-1, will play Honduras on Monday, with the loser finishing last in the group.
The U.S. nearly went ahead in the 34th minute, when Aron Johannsson beat goalkeeper Johny Placide. Johannsson was ruled offside, but replays showed he was onside when Altidore passed the ball to him.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann switched the formation from 4-4-2 to 4-3-1-2 and changed seven starters, including his entire defensive line. Brad Evans was at right back, with Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez the central defenders and Garza at left back.
Mix Diskerud was in midfield and twice committed fouls that gave Haiti free kicks just outside the penalty area.