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2013 Gold Cup: Panama twice down Mexico on way to Final
Gabriel Torres of Panama and Alejandro Castro of Mexico fight for possession in the Concacaf Gold Cup semi final on July 25 2013, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo: Concacaf)
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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.

While the 2013 Gold Cup was the second time that Panama had reached a Gold Cup Final, the first coming in 2005, it will be forever remembered by the Panamanian faithful as the time when they defeated Gold Cup stalwarts Mexico not once, but twice along the way.

The first victory over El Tricolor came in the opening match in Group A at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. A pair of goals from Gabriel Torres sandwiched a score from Marco Fabian to give Panama a 2-1 win over Mexico.

Torres was well on his way to winning a share of the Golden Boot (5 goals), as his penalty conversion in the 85’ powered Panama to a 1-0 victory in their second match against Martinique at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

The Panamanian defense, led by GK Jaime Penedo, who would take home Golden Glove honors, was keeping opponents at bay and there was nothing Canada could do to breach the back line of the Canaleros in the group stage finale, which ended in a 0-0 draw at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado.

With seven points, Panama won Group A , earning them a date in the quarterfinals where they faced Cuba at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

A goal from Cuba’s Jose Ciprian Alfonso was just the wake-up call that Panama needed and Head Coach Julio Dely Valdes’ side responded with six unanswered goals, beginning with Torres’ fourth and fifth goals of the tournament in the 25’ and 37’. Carlos Rodriguez and Jairo Jimenez tacked on goals, as did Blas Perez, who bagged a brace to round out the 6-1 scoreline.

Brimming with confidence, Panama arrived into their rematch with Mexico in the semifinals at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas with a place in the Final in their sights.

Perez gave Panama an early 1-0 lead in the 13’, only to see Luis Montes equalize 1-1 for Mexico in the 26’. But Panama never wavered and after Roman Torres scored in the 61’ to make it 2-1, they put the clamps down on the Mexican attack to book their place in the Final.

The Final against the United States was played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, and as play entered the final half-hour, things stood on a knife’s edge. In the end, a Brek Shea goal in the 69’ gave the U.S. the title, but there is no doubt that one of the lasting memories from the 2013 Gold Cup is the performances delivered by a powerful Panama side.
 

 
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