Panama shock Mexico to book Gold Cup final spot

USA defeat Honduras to advance

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 7:28 AM    

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Panama delivered a sledge hammer blow on champions Mexico by knocking them out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-1 semi-final win in front of a capacity crowd at Cowboys Stadium on Wednesday night.

Panama have now advanced to the final where they will meet the USA who comfortably dispatched Honduras 3-1 in the first match of a double-header.

Panama silenced the massive Mexican support in the 13th minute when their talisman Blas Perez blasted home from an angled position after being fed by Alberto Quintero.

Mexico rallied in spectacular fashion when Luis Montes arrived unmarked to send a flying header home after a sweet lofted cross into the area by Marco Fabian operating on the left side.

The silence that greeted the first Panama goal was repeated when the second went in the 61st minute. Panama took the lead when skipper Roman Torres left his defensive zone to head home Gabriel Torres' corner.

It was the second 2-1 defeat Mexico were suffering at the hands of Panama in this tournament, having lost to them in the group stage in Pasadena, California.

Meanwhile Man-of-the-Match Landon Donovan spurred the USA with a brace in the 27th and 53rd minutes, following the opening strike by teammate Eddie Johnson in the 11th.

Honduras pulled back a goal in the 52nd minute through Nery Medina.

The final of the Gold Cup, with US$1 million awaiting the winner, will held at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday.

-Sean Williams




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