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USA Earns Draw with Panama, Tops Group A, Haiti with Massive Win Puts Panama’s Hopes in Doubt

from fifawallpapers

from fifawallpapers

The USMNT had group A sewn up headed into last night’s matchup with the side that it defeated to win Gold Cup 2013; Panama.

Panama nearly took the lead on a goal that was ruled correctly offside from a well-taken set piece free kick.

Panama eventually scored when in the 34th minute, Blas Perez who is Panama’s best scorer, showed his class with a deft touch from close range to beat Brad Guzan.

The US trailed at the break but got into the game when Deandre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey came on as subs.

Dempsey’s touch was massive in the buildup as he found Alejandro Bedoya who slipped a pass across goal.  Michael Bradley was there with a well-timed run to tap it into the open side of Panama’s goal to level things for the U.S.

The match ended up with a less than satisfying draw , but  the USMNT left Group A undefeated and in first place on 7 points from 3 matches.

It’s tough to judge this result as obviously, Dempsey would have started had he game been meaningful to the United States.

The game however was meaningful to Panama and they played like the more desperate side creating chances in the game’s waning moments.  However, Guzan made a few late saves to preserve the point for the US.

Panama picked up a well-earned point but it remains to be seen if the point will be good enough for the 2013 runners-up to advance to the knockout stage of the Gold Cup

With a shock win against Honduras, Haiti vaulted to second place and will advance to the knockout stage after the US held Panama.

Now, Panama sits atop the ranking of third-place finishers of which 2 teams of the 4 third-place squads, will advance.

Panama will have to hope for teams on 1 and 2 points to falter in their final match-days.

Jamaica faces El Saldador tonight.

Panama and its supporters will have to hope that Jamaica beats El Salvador to bury El Salvador on 2 points or at worst a low scoring draw like 1-1 or 0-0 to keep El Salvador on 1 or 2 goals scored from its 3 matches.

The other fixture on tonight’s ledger is Canada vs. Costa Rica.  Panama needs either Costa Rica to defeat Canada to keep Canada on 1 point, or a draw would leave Canada on 2 points.  A Canadian win could put Panama in trouble should El Salvador get a result against the Reggae Boyz.

Then, Panama must get through one more match day.  Should they not advance, Panama will rue not defeating the USA in a game in which the USA didn’t need any kind of result.



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