Panama will progress to the last eight whatever happens in their final game against Mexico with a narrow late win against the plucky Martinque. The Mexicans also pulled out a win but they were far from convincing over a poor Canadian side. Will Burns presents a recap of last night’s Gold Cup action.
PANAMA 1-0 MARTINIQUE
Panama gained control of Group A with a 1-0 victory on Thursday night against Martinique at CenturyLink Field.
Gabriel Torres grabbed his third of the tournament when he converted a late penalty in the 85th minute as Panama clinched a berth in the last eight.
The game was shaping up to be Panama’s second disappointing result here in 30 days, following a June 11th loss to the U.S.A in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group. Fortunes changed in the 73rd minute, however, when Martinique defender Jacky Berdix was dismissed following his second yellow-card tackle of the game.
Panama instantly went on the attack, nearly going ahead in the 74th minute on a looping shot by FC Dallas forward Blas Perez. The crucial play came later when Martinique defender Sebastien Cretinoir clattered into Panama substitute Jairo Jimenez to set up the spot kick, a chance that Torres converted just past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa.
The loss was painful to Martinique, the nation which is not recognized by FIFA, had two penalty shouts themselves shunned by Honduran referee Armando Castro — one in each half.
MEXICO 2-0 CANADA
Canada saw its hopes of qualifying for the Gold Cup playoff round fade in a 2-0 loss to Mexico and with only one round-robin game remaining, will be hard-pressed to advance.
Raul Jimenez gave Mexico a 1-0 lead on a header in the 42nd minute as Jorge Enriquez flicked a corner kick onto him. The corner kick came after Borjan robbed Marquez from about 10 yards out after an errant bounce off a Canadian defender. It was Jimenez’s first career goal at the senior international level. He is new to the national squad this year.
Marco Fabian was awarded his penalty-kick in the 57th minute as Canadian defender David Edgar was whistled for tripping him slightly in the box. Fabian made the most of it and the ref pointed to the spot. Goalkeeper Borjan guessed the wrong way as Fabian rolled in a shot to the opposite corner of the net.
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