Panama shattered the US soccer team’s dream of an eighth Gold Cup triumph and advanced to the final of the prestigious continental tournament.
The outsider defeated co-hosts USA in the semi-finals 5:4 on penalties and can now hope for the big hit. In the final, Panama meets record winners Mexico, who gave Jamaica no chance at 3-0 (2-0).
While the USA missed the final for only the second time in the ten Gold Cup editions since 2003, Panama is only playing for the title for the third time after 2005 and 2013. The small Central American country has never won the cup. “Reaching this final is every Panamanian’s dream. We suffered to get this win, but that’s the best way to enjoy it,” said Panama’s Danish coach Thomas Christiansen, who represented VfL Bochum and Hannover 96 in the had played in the Bundesliga.
Mosquera becomes the match winner
At the stadium in San Diego it was 0-0 after regular time. Ivan Andersson put Panama ahead in extra time (99′), but Jesus Ferreira (105′) saved the US team on penalties. There, Panama’s goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera advanced to the match winner with two saved penalties (Jesus Ferreira and Cristian Roldan).
“Will hurt in the short term”
The USA competed in the Gold Cup without their stars active in Europe, such as Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC) and Weston McKennie (Juventus Turin). “It will hurt in the short term but I have no doubts that we have given a lot of players a lot of experience over the long term and that will pay off for us going forward,” said interim US coach BJ Callaghan, who is now replaced by the returning Gregg Berhalter is replaced again.
Henry Martin (2′), Luis Chavez (30′) and Roberto Alvarado (90’+3′) scored for Mexico, who are now aiming for their ninth Gold Cup title at the stadium in Paradise (Nevada). The final will be held on Sunday evening (local time). The Gold Cup is the continental tournament of the governing body CONCACAF for teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. The hosts this year are the USA and Canada.