USA Dominates Possession En Route to Win Over Panama, 2013 Gold Cup Title

By Phil Naegely

In a rematch of the 2005 Gold Cup Final, the United States and Panama faced off in the 2013 Gold Cup Final. Both sides were undefeated heading into the contest, and the U.S. Men’s National Team was without head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was ejected from their semi-final match, but that didn’t matter in the final. The United States dominated both possession and game play and defeated Panama 1-0.

From the start, the United States held the majority of possession in the first half. They had some good chances, but Panama bunkered down and played tough defense.

Landon Donovan tried to find Eddie Johnson and others up top, but time and time again Panama’s defense stymied any good chance.

In the second half, that would change though. The United Stats kept up the pressure and the door finally, or in this case Panama’s defense, fell down. Donovan’s what looked like shot headed for the left post, but somehow found Brek Shea‘s foot who drilled it emphatically home. 42 seconds earlier, Shea was subbed onto the field.

If you think that was fastest sub scoring for the United States this Gold Cup, you would be incorrect. Eddie Johnson scored after being on the pitch for 12 seconds earlier this tournament.

Shea’s goal Sunday was his second game-winner with the other coming against Costa Rica.

In the end, the United States won its 11th straight game and qualified for a play-in against the 2015 Gold Cup winner. The winner of the play-in game will qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup. However, if the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cup champions are the same country, they will automatically qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Things are flying high for the United States as 2014 World Cup qualifying resumes in September.

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