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Johnson's big save sparks U.S. soccer win

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Seconds after Brookwood grad Sean Johnson's spectacular save maintained a scoreless tie, the U.S. Men's Soccer National Team got the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute from Brek Shea in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night against Costa Rica.

The Americans' victory clinched first place in Group C of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, giving them a top seed for the upcoming quarterfinals. Cuba also advanced to the quarterfinals as one of the best third-place teams after beating Belize by four goals.

After easy wins over the other two group opponents, the U.S. was tested for the first time by Costa Rica in a rematch of their snowy World Cup qualifier back in March, which the Americans also won 1-0.

Roared on by the home crowd at Rentschler Field, the U.S. was in control for most of the match and got the breakthrough in the 82nd minute when Landon Donovan found Brek Shea through the middle and he completed a nice left-footed finish. It was Shea's first-ever international goal.

The winning play was set up with Johnson's brilliant save off a corner kick, followed by Joe Corona's clearance to set up Donovan's right-side run.

Costa Rica finished the group in second place on six points and will meet Honduras in the quarterfinals, while the U.S. faces El Salvador. The Americans were the only team to go through the group stage with three straight wins and are trying to win the Gold Cup for the first time since 2007 after enduring back-to-back defeats to Mexico in the 2009 and 2011 finals.