USA Falls to Panama in penalty shootout of CONCACAF Gold Cup Semi’s

USMNT Keeper Matt Turner looks on from the pitch in dismay as Panama celebrates Adalberto Carrasquillas winning penalty.

(The San-Diego Tribune, 2023)

The USMNT hosted Panama at the Snapdragon stadium in San Diego, CA in the Semi-Finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The US went into this game favorites after a tense quarterfinal against Canada which also went the distance to a shootout. Meanwhile Panama had progressed after a convincing 4-0 win against Qatar on the 8th of July. 

The USMNT line up; Matt Turner, Aaron Long, Miles Robinson, DeJuan Jones, Bryan Reynolds, James Sands, Djordje Mihailovic, Gianluca Busio, Brandon Vasquez, Cade Cowell, and Jesus Ferreira.  

Panama line up; Orlando Mosquera, Harold Cummings, Andres Andrade, Fidel Escobar, Anibal Godoy, Adalberto Carrasquilla, Eric Davis, Edgar Barcenas, Alberto Quintero, Ismael Dias, and Jose Fajardo.

The US started solidly with winger Cade Cowell ringing the post within the first minutes, but it was mostly downhill from there. Panama went on a tear racking up 6 shots, two on target, 3 free kicks and 3 offside calls. The US ended the first ’45 with 36% possession, 3 shots and only 1 on target. They were lucky to go in at 0-0 after Panama had a goal ruled out for offsides in the buildup.

Into the second half play began to open up, with the US’s Brandon Vasquez unlucky to convert after some more tidy build up play from Cade Cowell. Vasquez was the catalyst for much of the USMNTs positive play, contributing 3 shots and 3 key passes until his substitution in the 74th minute for Jordan Morris, who provided the assist for Jesus Ferreira.  This was never going to be a dull affair and at the end of 90 minutes, the sides were locked at 0-0, with 12 fouls and 1 yellow card each. USMNT’s Djordje Mihailovic escaped a penalty handball call in the 4th minute of stoppage time after a Panamanian player was again offsides in the build up.

The luck did not last, when in the 99th minute Adalberto Carrasquilla provided a pinpoint through ball to Ivan Anderson, who collected it and coolly rounded Matt Turner and slotted it in the empty net, 1-0 Panama ’99. The 105th minute finally saw the US get on the board after a smart headed cross back from Jordan Morris found Jesus Ferreira, who shinned it home with style, to make it his tournament leading 7th goal. After the US exit he will remain tied with Clint Dempsey at 7 goals for most scored in a single Gold Cup tournament by a USMNT player. USA 1 – 1 Panama ‘105 and the end of the first half of extra time.

It was a hectic finale to stoppage time, seeing the US giving up two sloppy fouls and enduring a late barrage. Jesus Forreira delayed the game with an injury but had to see the last minutes out with no more available substitutes. The second half of stoppage time ended agonizingly after Jordan Morris found himself with a free header in the center of the box but couldn’t keep his effort down. Penalties were all that was left, with the US kicking first. Tournament Golden Boot leader and 105th minute goalscorer Jesus Forreira, perhaps still nursing a slight injury, saw his spot kick saved to bottom left. Matt Turner dove the wrong way for Panamas 1st, converted by Fidel Escobar. Djordje Mihailovic (US), Ismael Dias (Panama), and Jordan Morris (US) followed and all routinely tucked their penalties away into the corners. Matt Turner then stayed central to save a tame effort from Christian Martinez. Julian Gressel (US), Yoel Barcenas (Panama), Matt Miazga (US), and Cecilio Waterman (Panama) converted respectively. Christian Roldan then stepped up for the USMNTs 5th spot kick, and fired it low to his left but too central as the keeper Orlando Mosquera pounced on it. Adalberto Carrasquilla blasted his shot past a helpless Matt Turner to send Panama through to only their 3rd Gold Cup Final. 

Panama will face Mexico at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on July 16th, 2023, at 7:30 Eastern.