USA vs Panama: U.S. Men’s National Team Falls to Panama in 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals

USA vs Panama

USA vs Panama: The U.S. Men’s National Team faced a disappointing loss to Panama, falling 5-4 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw in the Semifinals of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. Despite their efforts, the USMNT’s run at this year’s confederation championship came to an end. The match took place at Snapdragon Stadium and witnessed forward Jesús Ferreira score his tournament-leading seventh goal in front of a crowd of 31,690.

USA vs Panama: USMNT’s Battle with Panama

This encounter marked the 12th meeting between the USA and Panama in the Gold Cup, making them the most frequent opponents in the competition. Unfortunately for the USMNT, it was only the second time that Panama emerged victorious against them in the tournament. As a result, Panama earned a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Final at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 16, where they will face either Jamaica or Mexico.

USA vs Panama: The USMNT’s Strong Start

The USMNT started the game with an impressive display of attacking prowess. Within the first minute, forward Brandon Vazquez capitalized on a Panamanian defensive mistake and delivered a dangerous pass. Teenage sensation Cade Cowell, who was making his second appearance in the tournament, struck the ball off the base of the post with a right-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Panama’s Dominance and the USMNT’s Resilience

Following the early chance by the USMNT, Panama took control of the possession and dictated the attacking play in the first half. Forward Ismael Diaz, who scored a hat trick in Panama’s quarterfinal match against Qatar, tested U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner with a quick snapshot from a tight angle in the 12th minute. Midfielder Yoel Bárcenas seemed to have scored in the 29th minute, but the assistant referee’s flag signaled offside, disallowing the goal. Another scramble in the U.S. defense forced Turner to make a crucial save to deny Diaz a free header near the penalty spot in the 43rd minute.

Second Half Chances for Both Sides

The second half commenced with an opportunity for the USMNT to break the deadlock. A skillful play on the right side of the penalty area allowed Cade Cowell to bypass Panama’s defense and deliver a cross. However, Vazquez, in his first start of the 2023 Gold Cup, failed to convert the chance, striking the ball over the bar.

Panama responded with a threatening cross from the right, which was headed towards goal by Diaz. Turner displayed his agility, diving to tip the bouncing ball up and out for a corner kick.

As the match progressed, both teams had opportunities to secure victory. In the 65th minute, the USMNT crafted their best chance of the game so far. Starting from the back with Turner, a sweeping move saw midfielder Gianluca Busio surge forward with the ball. Substitute DeAndre Yedlin provided a low cross from the right, finding Golden Boot leader Ferreira, who narrowly missed the target with his shot.

Extra Time Drama and Penalty Shootout

With the score tied at 1-1 after regulation time, the match headed into extra time. Fatigue started to affect the USMNT, who had one day less rest compared to their opponents. In the 99th minute, Panama capitalized on a defensive lapse, and Ivan Anderson scored his first international goal, putting Panama in the lead. However, the USMNT quickly responded as Jordan Morris delivered a long ball into the penalty area, and Ferreira volleyed it into the far corner of the net, equalizing in the dying seconds of the first extra time period.

The 1-1 deadlock persisted until the end of extra time, forcing the USA into a penalty shootout for the second consecutive match. Unfortunately, the USMNT fell short this time, as Jesús Ferreira’s opening penalty was saved by Panama goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera. Although Matt Turner saved Cristian Martínez’s attempt, a missed penalty by substitute Cristian Roldan paved the way for Panama’s victory. Carrasquilla sealed the win with a well-placed strike in the shootout’s sixth round.

USA vs Panama: Goal Scoring Summary

Panama – Ivan Anderson (Adalberto Carrasquilla), 99th minute: Anderson timed his run perfectly, beating Matt Turner to the ball and scoring his first goal for Panama, giving them the lead.

USA – Jesus Ferreira (Jordan Morris), 105th minute: Morris provided an excellent assist, and Ferreira displayed excellent technique with a curling volley into the far corner, leveling the score.

Additional Notes and Records

Jesús Ferreira’s goal in the 105th minute was his seventh in the 2023 Gold Cup, equaling Clint Dempsey’s record for the most goals by a U.S. player in a single edition of the confederation championship (2015).

Ferreira’s goal also marked his 15th international goal, placing him tied with Cobi Jones for 14th on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list. Additionally, it was his 12th goal in official competition, equalling Michael Bradley’s tally and positioning him joint 10th among USMNT players in competitive matches.

Jordan Morris registered his ninth career assist on Ferreira’s goal, with his last assist dating back to the 4-1 win against Canada on November 15, 2019, in Orlando.

Matt Turner’s appearance in the Gold Cup was his 10th, placing him joint third with Tony Meola among U.S. goalkeepers in the continental championship. Turner also made his eighth appearance in a knockout round match, surpassing Meola to claim sole possession of third place among USMNT goalkeepers.

Turner’s save on Cristian Martinez’s penalty kick was his fifth penalty kick save for the USMNT, with two occurring during regulation time and three in shootouts.

James Sands became the sixth player to feature in 11 consecutive Gold Cup matches for the USMNT. Since his tournament debut against Haiti on July 11, 2021, Sands has started in his last 10 Gold Cup appearances. The USMNT’s starting lineup boasted an average age of 24 years and 202 days, making it the seventh youngest lineup utilized in a knockout round match. The team’s 10 youngest knockout round lineups have all been deployed since 2021.

The lineup also had an average of 16 caps and 11 appearances in official competition.

Brandon Vazquez earned his first start in the Gold Cup, and fittingly, it took place in his hometown of San Diego.
Cade Cowell, at the age of 19 years and 271 days, became the fourth youngest player to start a Gold Cup Knockout Round match for the USMNT, following Juan Agudelo, Gianluca Busio, and George Bello.

Substitute DeAndre Yedlin marked his 81st career appearance, joining Desmond Armstrong, Thomas Dooley, and Tab Ramos in 27th place on the USMNT’s all-time caps list.

USA vs Panama

The USMNT’s overall record against Panama now stands at 17 wins, 2 draws, and 7 losses. In official competition, the USMNT has a record of 13 wins, 2 draws, and 7 losses against Panama, while in the Gold Cup, their record is 6 wins, 1 draw, and 5 losses.

The USMNT has a strong history in the Gold Cup knockout round, with a record of 29 wins, 8 draws, and 7 losses. In Gold Cup semifinal matches, their record stands at 11 wins, 3 draws, and 2 losses.

In official competition, the USMNT has a record of 5 wins and 3 losses in penalty shootouts. The USMNT will reflect on this loss as they continue to strive for success and prepare for future tournaments.

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