Panama eliminates USMNT in shootout and advances to finals


Jesús Ferreira’s brilliant Gold Cup run for the USMNT is over. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A second shootout in a row failed for the US men’s national team at the Gold Cup.

Panama eliminated the USMNT in a 5-4 shootout win on Wednesday and advanced to the Gold Cup final, their first trip since finishing runners-up in 2013. The game ended in a shootout after a 1-1 draw in overtime.

Houston Dynamo’s Adalberto Carrasquilla nailed the coffin:

Panama meets Mexico in the finals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sunday. Mexico defeated Jamaica 3-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

The loss ends a young USMNT squad’s struggle for back-to-back Gold Cup titles.

USA and Panama exchange goals in extra time

Twenty seconds into the game: US winger Cade Cowell fired off a cross and hit the post. It was the closest result for the Americans in almost 120 minutes.

Panama were the first to score in extra time when a bizarre defensive failure by the Americans allowed for an easy Iván Anderson goal. The USMNT obviously believed their opponent was offside, but neither the umpires nor the VAR saved them.

USA’s response came six minutes later in the form of the tournament’s top scorer, Jesús Ferreira, who needed just one touch of the ball to level the game. It was Ferreira’s seventh goal of the tournament and the second-highest goal ever in a Gold Cup.

Panama loses a goal – and a penalty – in the disputed end of regular time

The period between Cowell’s cross and the half-time break was clearly controlled by Panama, which didn’t translate much beyond that a goal that was quickly ruled offside.

The USMNT retooled enough to level the second half, but Panama still had closer chances to reach the net and the next goal didn’t come until injury time. Panama was not enthusiastic about the development.

Two and a half minutes into extra time, the ball flew into a crowd from a Panama corner, bounced off it and then bounced back in what briefly looked like an Ismael Díaz goal. That goal, too, was quickly thwarted – Díaz was clearly ruled offside – but the bigger intrigue came when the Panamanians noticed Djordje Mihailovic’s arm seemed to hit the ball in the first struggle for the ball.

Replay decided otherwise and conceded a penalty from Panama.

Minutes later the game went into overtime.

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