Panama accomplished what no Concacaf team has ever done and beaten Mexico twice in the same competition in the same year. For the second time at
the 2013 Gold Cup, the Canaleros beat El Tri, 2-1, this time before a pro-Mexico crowd of 81,410 at Cowboys Stadium and moved into Sunday's final against the USA. The loss all but assured that
embattled Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre
will be fired.
Wednesday's victory in the semifinals at Cowboys Stadium was remarkably similar to
Panama's win on the opening day of the Gold Cup at the Rose Bowl, where it took at early lead and won with a goal in the second half after Mexico had equalized. Alberto Quintero
, who had given Mexico fits in the first game, fed FC Dallas striker Blas Perez
to give the Canaleros the lead in the 13th minute.
, who had Mexico's lone goal in its opening defeat, broke free to feed Luis Montes
header in the 26th minute.
Panama pulled ahead again in the 61st minute on a header from defender Roman Torres
off a corner kick from Gabriel Torres
, who had scored both goals in the first meeting.
Mexico's best chance to equalize came late in the game when American-born Isaac Brizuela
broke free but goalie Jaime Penedo
managed to tip Brizuela's lob over the bar.
Three times before
the USA has beaten Mexico twice in the same year (2000, 2002 and 2007), but four of the six wins were in friendlies.
Panama moved into the Gold Cup final for the second time against the
The USA won in a shootout in 2005 at Giants Stadium after the match ended 0-0. U.S. coach Bruce Arena
was suspended for the game
after being dismissed in the semifinal win over Honduras for cursing the referee.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann
should learn soon
whether he'll suffer the same fate and miss Sunday's final in Chicago.