The Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida was the site of one of the biggest upsets in CONCACAF Gold Cup history when Julio Dely Valdes’ Panama beat the USA 2-1 to hand the four-time regional champions their first-ever group-stage loss in the competition’s history. The Panamanians now control the fate of Group C with two wins from their two games. The Americans are tied with Canada on three points after the men from the Great White North beat ten-man Guadeloupe 1-0 in the night’s earlier game.
Panama created a sensation in the late game, beating the USA for the first time and handing the hosts their first-ever group stage loss at a Gold Cup. The Canaleros put in a disciplined and incisive performance, keeping organised at the back and breaking with efficiency when opportunities arose. Luis Tejada opened the scoring for the Central Americans, runners-up at the Gold Cup in 2005, bundling the ball over the line after a long pass from midfield was nodded down in the area. Gabriel Gomez added another from the spot before the interval. The Stars and Stripes responded with a goal from Clarence Goodson in the 66th minute, but it was too little too late for the four-time CONCACAF champions as Panama’s celebrations are sure to go on long into the night.
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