The US national team kept their Copa America Centenario dream alive, as they defeated Ecuador 2-1 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday to book their place in the semifinals.

The hosts took the lead in the 22nd minute, as Jermaine Jones sent a diagonal ball into the box that found the head of Clint Dempsey, who easily beat Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.

Minutes later, John Brooks continued his strong tournament with a timely block to cut out a goal-bound Michael Arroyo shot, preserving the US lead.

A player from each side was sent off in the 52nd minute, as Antonio Valencia received a second yellow card after kicking out at Alejandro Bedoya, and Jones received a straight red card in the subsequent scrum for an apparent swipe at the head of an Ecuador player.

The US doubled their lead just after the hour mark, as Gyasi Zardes ensured Dempsey's effort towards goal went in with a simple tap-in at the far post.

But Ecuador found their breakthrough in the 74th minute, as Arroyo buried a low shot through traffic off Walter Ayovi's free kick deep in the US end, and continued to pile on the pressure from there.