Despite losing its first group match 2-0 to Colombia, the United States was able to get out of its group at the Copa America Centenario.
The U.S. beat Paraguay 1-0 in Philadelphia on Saturday night on a Clint Dempsey goal in the first half. The Americans survived playing a man down for more than 40 minutes when DeAndre Yedlin got two yellow cards in the span of a minute.
A draw against Paraguay would have been enough for the U.S. to advance out of its group, but the win meant there was a chance to win Group A. That chance involved Costa Rica beating Colombia.
It was a long shot because Colombia had won both of its previous group matches and is one of the highest ranked teams in the world while Costa Rica was eliminated before it took the field. However, the Colombians rested some key players and Costa Rica took advantage with a 3-2 win at NRG Stadium in Houston.
The U.S. won Group A based on goal differential. The 4-0 win against Costa Rica in Chicago played a large part in that goal differential.
So now the Americans head to Seattle for a quarterfinal on Thursday against the runner-up of Group B, which could be any of Ecuador, Peru or Brazil. Those two South American coutries face off Sunday to decide the group winner.
Another consequence of Saturday's results is that the U.S. can't play in the semifinal taking place at Soldier Field on June 22. If the Americans were the second place team in Group A, they would have been one win away from a return to Chicago. If the current group leaders hold and advance that match could be Brazil-Mexico.