Ireland 2, El Salvador 1 (PK) - This was a treat to watch from a technical and strategic point of view. El Salvador knew it didn't have a chance to outscore Ireland so it focused on defense from the outset. And it worked. El Salvador shut down David Brown up front and for the most part limited chances from Ireland's numerous other scoring threats. The mix-up that allowed the Ireland goal wasn't so much bad as it was expected - everyone figured Ireland would get at least one of those goals. Props to Ireland for continuously attacking and never taking its foot off the pedal. In the second half and in OT Ireland had at least six high-quality, close-range chances and just couldn't get a break and beat a red-hot El Salvador keeper.
Then shoot-outs. Jay Tomchuk had his first Ireland shot saved and I thought it was all over. But then Jonah stopped two of the next three El Salvador attempts and it was all but assured that ROI would win. That fate was sealed when Adam Rolfe missed the fifth ES shot; two feet wide. It was a great effort for El Salvador but ROI took care of business.
Laos 4, Poland 3 (OT) - So much more entertaining than the first semifinal because both teams played a high-energy and attacking style. It didn't hurt that goals came pretty often so it always seemed like Poland was playing catch-up. And to its credit, Poland always did manage to tie it up, even after one of their strikers got a red card with about 10 minutes to play in the second half. Both keepers made some great saves in this one and there were some fantastic goals from both sides as well. Laos deserved to win this one after Boun managed to pot home a bouncing ball in the box about two minutes into overtime. Considering how great Poland had played defensively all tournament - for them to lose on a goal like that was pretty surprising.