GOLD CUP: USA wins title thanks to shootout win over Panama

The United States won the Gold Cup for the third time Sunday at when it beat Panama on penalty kicks after the final at Giants Stadium ended in a 0-0 tie.

In the shootout, Kasey Keller saved PanamaÆs first attempt by Luis Tejada, and then got some help from the crossbar and a clear miss over the frame. On the U.S. end, Santino Quaranta and Landon Donovan buried their attempts from the spot before Brad Davis secured the 3-1 victory with a well-placed shot to the right corner.

The U.S. previously won the inaugural Gold Cup tournament in 1991, also on PKs after a 0-0 tie, and again in 2002.

ôFirst of all, congratulations to coach (Jose) Hernandez and the Panama team,ö said U.S. MenÆs National Team assistant coach Glenn Myernick, who took over the head coaching duties for the suspended Bruce Arena. ôThey had a fantastic tournament and put forth a valiant effort today. At the end of it, both teams were fatigued and, fortunately, we were able to come out ahead. I was very proud of the teamÆs effort today. They deserved to win the championship.ö

The U.S. was able to only suit up 17 players because of injuries suffered over the course of the six-game tournament. Also missing from the bench was U.S. coach Bruce Arena, ejected during the 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Honduras and suspended for the final.

The best chance of the game came in the 75th minute when Jorge Dely Valdes got open behind Oguchi Onyewu at the left corner of the six-yard box to pounce on a cross in by Rodriguez, but his shot hit the underside of the crossbar.

In the 96th, Keller made his biggest save of the day when he denied Dely Valdes from point-blank range.

''Every single game in this tournament Kasey Keller made a big play for us,'' said assistant coach Glenn Myernick. ''He has shown his quality the whole time.''

At the other end, Jaime Penedo kept the Canaleros in the game in the first half with big saves on Josh Wolff (twice), John O'Brien and DaMarcus Beasley.

The game produced 41 shots.

Beasley, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu were named to the all-tournament team

Summary

July 24 in East Rutherford, N.J.

USA 0 Panama 0 (USA wins 3-1 on penalties).

USA -- Keller, Hejduk, Conrad, Onyewu, Vanney, Armas, OÆBrien, Donovan, Dempsey (Davis, 84), Wolff (Quaranta, 62), Beasley (Olsen, 114).

Panama -- Penedo, Rivera, Moreno, J.Torres, Baloy, Gomez, Blanco, Medina (Henriquez, 87), Mitre (Rodriguez, 43), Jorge Dely Valdes, Tejada.

Yellow cards: USA -- Davis 86, Hejduk 120; Panama -- Gomez 62.

Referee: Carlos Batres (Guatemala).

Att.: 31,018.

Penalty kicks

Panama -- Tejada (save), Dely Valdes (crossbar), Baloy (goal), Blanco (high).

USA -- Quaranta (goal), Armas (save), Donovan (goal), Davis (goal).

Stats

Shots: USA 23, Panama 18. Saves: USA 5, Panama 10. Corner Kicks: USA 10, Panama 5. Fouls: USA 26, Panama 21. Offside: USA 1, Panama 5.

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