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United States vs. Panama Ends With U.S. Taking Its 11th-straight Victory To Win The 2013 Gold Cup Final

United States vs. Panama Ends With U.S. Taking Its 11th-straight Victory To Win The 2013 Gold Cup Final


For the first time in six years, the United  States are champions of the CONCACAF region. Panama were excellent  defensively on Sunday and made the USMNT fight for the entirety of the match,  but the Americans were in control throughout their 1-0 victory.

Stu  Holden had the first real chance of the game in the 11th minute, one he  created for himself. Holden won the ball back in midfield and took it forward  before unleashing a shot from 20 yards, but it blazed over. Sadly, his influence  on the game would be short lived. He picked up a knee injury in the 18th minute  and had to be subbed off, with Mikkel  Diskerud replacing him in the 22nd minute.

The first half didn’t  contain many chances for either team. Alejandro  Bedoyahad the Americans’ best opportunity to score in the 43rd minute, but  failed to make the most of it. He looked to be in on goal and had a chance to  shoot with his right foot, but decided to cut inside on his left and look for a  better shot. He never found it, and his effort was blocked by a Panamanian  defender.

While the game was certainly played in the frenetic and physical style Panama  sought in the first half, they were unable to take advantage of the times that  they frustrated the U.S. and forced turnovers in midfield, with the United  States regularly winning the ball right back.

The United States came out with a bit more initiative in the second half and  were denied what probably should have been a penalty in the 52nd minute. A cross  by Landon  Donovan was knocked down by the hand of the Carlos  Rodriguez, but referee Joel Aguilar didn’t spot it, much to the dismay of an absolutely livid Jurgen Klinsmann.

In the 68th minute, Brek  Shea was introduced in place of Joe  Corona and only needed a minute before he  netted the United States’ game-winning goal. Bedoya set it up with a cross  from the right flank towards the six-yard box, which Donovan met. Not in a  terrific spot to shoot, Donovan helped the ball towards the center of the box  where Shea was waiting to poke it home from point blank range.

Eddie  Johnson had a brilliant chance to put the game away for the United States in  the 83rd minute, but failed to capitalize on what should have been a tap-in.  Shea provided a perfect low cross towards the back post, where Johnson had made  an excellent run, but the American striker inexplicably screwed his shot over  the bar.

With Panama throwing everyone forward in a desperate attempt to find an  equalizer, Martin Vasquez put on Omar  Gonzalez for Bedoya in the dying minutes of the match. His substitution  worked, with the U.S. defense making a few important headed clearances in  stoppage time to close out the win for their team.



By Kevin McCauley



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