QUARTER-FINALS – SATURDAY 20TH JULY
Panama will face Mexico in the first semi-finals after both teams won their last eight games on Saturday night. Will Burns is here with an eye over the action.
PANAMA 6-1 CUBA
Gabriel Torres scored a first-half brace and Blas Perez added two in the second half as Panama hit the Cubans for six to set-up a semi-final clash with Mexico.
The Panamanians set a new Gold Cup record for the most goals scored by a single team in a last-eight match.
On the counter-attack, Cuba took the lead in the 21st minute when Jaine Colome Valencia chipped the ball into the box, where Jose Ciprian Alfonso slid in with a first-time shot from 12 meters that beat Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Panama were level soon after when Torres converted a 25th minute penalty. Thirteen minutes later, Torres got his second of the match and fifth of the tournament. In the 37th minute, Perez guided a header toward Torres and the midfielder scored on the first-time attempt.
Cuba were reduced to ten men just before the hour mark with leading scorer Ariel Martinez was given a straight red card for a kick into Perez. Panama took advantage ten minutes later as Carlos Rodriguez settled a deflected cross by Alberto Quintero and slotted his shot inside the far post from 10 meters to give Panama a commanding 3-1 lead.
After failing to put away several chances earlier, Perez scored his first goal of this tournament and third all-time quarterfinal goal in the 78th minute. The FC Dallas forward got behind the Cuban defense and slotted a shot past Molina from 13 meters to put Panama in front, 4-1.
Five minutes remaining, Jairo Jimenez got behind the Cuban defense and put away a breakaway to give Panama a 5-1 lead. Perez added his second two minutes later, pouncing on a rebound in front of goal.
MEXICO 1-0 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Mexico left it late to book their final four place when Raul Jimenez scored in the 84th minute to give the Mexicans a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
The six-time Gold Cup champions are competing for their third straight title, they face Panama in the semis a team that upset Mexico 2-1 in a group match earlier this month.
Jimenez used his right foot to redirect Miguel Layun’s shot attempt from the right side with a sweeping move that helped the ball sail just past diving goalkeeper Jan Williams and into the left corner of the net.
Three of Mexico’s 11 shots in the first half were on goal, but Williams only had to dive once to make a save. The other two attempts went right into his hands.
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