Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica advance

[COPA CENTROAMERICANA] Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica won on Sunday to clinch spots in the semifinals of the Copa Centroamericana and earn berths in the 2011 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Five of the seven teams in the Central American championship -- the four semifinals and the fifth-place game winner -- will qualify for the Gold Cup finals in the USA.

Rafael Burgos scored twice and William Romero, Jaime Alas and Chicago Fire defender Deris Umanzor scored to give El Salvador a 5-2 win over Belize.

H ost Panama knocked off Nicaragua, the other Central American doormat, 2-0, and also advanced from Group A.

Marcos Urena scored twice in the second half to give Costa Rica a 2-0 win over Guatemala and clinch no worse than second place in Group B.

The New York Red Bulls' Roy Miller started for the Ticos, who have won the Central American title six times.

Other MLS players competing in the tournament included Real Salt Lake's Arturo Alvarez, who started for El Salvador against Belize, and FC Dallas midfielder winger Marvin Chavez, who came on as a substitute for Honduras in its 1-1 tie with Costa Rica on Friday night.

1 comment about "Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica advance".
  1. Leonardo Perez, January 17, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.

    I know that this tournament is called the "Centroamericana Championship" and that Nicaragua and Belize are the "minnows" as you called them, but my question is why not make this a tournament for all the "minnows" below the United States and Mexico. Why not include Canada in the qualifying, being that they are ranked lower then Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and even lower then Cuba. Why is Canada so easily afforded a "free" entry into the Gold Cup when other more qualified countries have to go through a tournament to qualify? I know that they are in the Northern part of Concacaf, but I don't believe that Canada should be allowed entry into the Gold Cup so easily. What do you think?

Next story loading loading..