Found July 25, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
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And then there were two. Two sides that faced each other twice in the last Gold Cup now square off in an unexpected final for the CONCACAF crown in Panama and the United States Coming into their semifinal match against Honduras the USMNT was rocking and rolling. They had scored more goals than in any other Gold Cup. The match was much the same as the USMNT soundly beat Honduras 3-1. Once again it was the Landon Donovan show as he scored twice while creating havoc that was disrupting the Honduras style of play, or lack there of. The United States out and out dominated from beginning to end and there was no doubt of who was the better side. Eddie Johnson put the US up early and Donovan scored midway through the first half, which turned out to be all that was required for victory. Nearing the end of the second half USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann was ejected after reacting towards a tackle on captain DaMarcus Beasley. As of yet the CONCACAF disciplinary committee has not ruled on whether Klinsmann will be banned from the final or not.   In the other semifinal Panama has been able to replicate their success in the first game of the group stage as they defeated Mexico, their first semifinal defeat since 1991 to the US, 2-1 in the ‘Jerry Jones Done’ in front of a pro-Mexico crowd. For Mexico this is yet another failure for 2013. First it was the poor display in the World Cup qualifiers, top players not wanting to suit up in the green, the U-20’s failure after winning the last U-17 World Cup, complete failure in the Confederations Cup, and now not even making the Gold Cup final. To put it mildly Chepo de le Torre and his entire staff will probably be on the out. The Mexican press is not known for being nice after all. For Panama, they were able to take the lead, and then do so again, all the while being under extreme pressure. Mexico was missing the finishing touch and aside from making efforts on goal Panama was holding strong with a great performance by captain and center back Roman Torres and keeper Jamie Penedo. For the rest of CONCACAF this gives them hope for the future as ‘big bad’ Mexico has failed and their top side is faltering the likes of Costa Rica and Honduras will be looking forward to their incoming qualifiers and as of now Mexico looks vulnerable and that is all their opposition needs. With all the Jamaica matches done it’s the real tough matches that remain. Who knows, perhaps the likes of Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama can grab results against Mexico, with a road tilt against the USMNT looking exceptionally difficult Mexico could slip up against the States and Honduras As for Panama this is their second time making it to the final, having been runners-up to the USMNT in 2005, and they have a lot to be proud of. They defeated Mexico twice and are currently in the middle of their golden age and the confidence from thoroughly beating Mexico they will carry this into the September World Cup qualifiers. But now they will be focusing on trying to stifle a USMNT side that has been going through all opposition this Gold Cup.
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