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2013 Gold Cup group stage: Panama top Mexico in sign of things to come
The Panamanian Carlos Rodriguez # 4 and Rafael Marquez Lugo of Mexico seeks for the ball in a Group A match of the Concacaf Gold Cup on July 8 2013, at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
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MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of two Concacaf Gold Cup classics, the first being the 2013 Gold Cup group stage match between Panama and Mexico, followed by the 2019 Gold Cup quarterfinal between Haiti and Canada. Both matches will be shown on Concacaf’s Facebook and YouTube pages, plus the Concacaf App.

The 2013 Gold Cup won’t soon be forgotten in the annals of Panamanian football history. Not only did it mark the second time that the Canaleros reached the Final, but it featured a historical two-match sweep of Concacaf powerhouse Mexico.

The victory that perhaps stands out most to Panama fans is their team’s 2-1 win over El Tricolor in the semifinals, but it was their previous victory over Mexico in the group stage, also by the score of 2-1, that set the tone for the Canaleros during the tournament.

The two teams met in the nightcap of a doubleheader played at the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the same stadium where Mexico had claimed a thrilling comeback 4-2 win over the United States in the Gold Cup Final two years prior in 2011.

Panama enjoyed a dream start by grabbing a 1-0 lead in just the 7’. Alberto Quintero collected a pass on the left and darted into the area before being brought down by Mexico’s Raul Jimenez. Gabriel Torres was charged with taking the spot kick and calmly slotted home past Mexico GK Jonathan Orozco to give Panama the advantage.

But Mexico are never a team to go quietly, especially when playing at the Rose Bowl, and on the stroke of halftime in the 45+2’, Marco Fabian found the equalizer for the reigning champions. DF Israel Jimenez played an exquisite chip over the Panamanian defense and found the charging Fabian, who redirected in his shot past Panama GK Jaime Penedo to even the score, 1-1.

Panama’s confidence did not waver, however, and Head Coach Julio Dely Valdes’ side punched right back at the start of the second half with Torres’ second of the night in the 48’. Quintero recovered a ball deep on the right side of the Mexican half and curled in a cross that Torres anticipated and stabbed home to make it a 2-1 Panama lead.

From there, the Panama defense managed to keep the Mexican attack at bay to collect a hard-fought three points and the start of a tournament to remember.
 

 
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