US advances to Gold Cup final

By CHRIS DUNCAN | June 22, 2011 | 9:45 PM EDT

United States' Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates with teammate Landon Donovan (10) after Dempsey scored a goal against Panama during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal soccer match Wednesday, June 22, 2011, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

HOUSTON (AP) — Clint Dempsey scored in the 77th minute off an assist from Landon Donovan, and the United States advanced to the Gold Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Panama on Wednesday night.

The Americans will play in the biennial tournament's championship game for the fourth straight time after avenging a 2-1 loss to Panama on June 11.

Freddy Adu made a long-awaited return to American soccer in the second half, and set up the winning play with a cross-field pass to Donovan, who played in his 27th consecutive Gold Cup match to extend his own record.

Donovan then threaded a pinpoint pass through the Panama defense to Dempsey, who slid as he redirected the ball into the low corner of the net.

The U.S. will play the winner of Honduras-Mexico semifinal for the championship at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.