USA vs Mexico in CONCACAF Gold Cup Rematch
US 1-0 Panama. Mexico 2-0 Honduras.
The US defeated Panama in a rematch of a game played on June 11th when the Central American team defeated the US 2-1. This time the US turned the tables on Panama defeating them 1-0 on a Clint Dempsey goal, his third of the tournament. The goal was a combination of two of the usual suspects for the US, Dempsey and Landon Donovan who did not start the game but came in for Sacha Kljestan in the second half. Surprisingly the man who started the play was Freddy Adu came off the bench in the 66th minute. Adu showed maturity in not taking it to goal on every play, yet injected energy into a very tired and lagging US offense. While holding the ball he also took players on which was something the US seemed to be unable or unwilling to do most of the game.
In the 76th minute Adu gathered a ball centrally at the top of the US defensive third. He turned, looked up field and hit a perfect left footed curling ball that found a sprinting Landon Donovan on the outside right flank. Donovan still had much work to do. He went deep before cutting the ball inside and heading towards goal. Just as the Panamanian defense was closing in he hit a blistering pass to the far post that was perfectly timed and found the run of Dempsey. The American forward stuck the ball into the net with an outstretched lunge.
The US held on for the win and will not face Mexico in the final on Saturday at 8 pm CT in the sold-out Rose Bowl. The game will be carried on FOX Soccer and Univision.
The U.S. is now 4-1-1 against Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and 7-1-2 overall with 20 goals scored and six allowed.
The U.S. has faced Mexico in the last two tournament finals. They have won 9 of the 10 Gold Cups finals since the tournament started in 1991. They defeated Mexico 2-1 in 2007, and Mexico humiliated the US 5-0 in the 2009 final.
Mexico defeated Honduras 2-0 in the late game. Mexico struggled to put a feisty Honduras down who dragged the game into overtime in which both goals where scored.
Both teams will only have 3 days to prepare. The US may have an edge after winning in regulation, whereas Mexico played an extra 30 minutes on tired legs.