US takes 2013 Gold Cup beating Panama

Published Sunday, July 28, 2013 5:28 AM by Shane Barrow
US takes 2013 Gold Cup beating Panama

A second half Brek Shea goal lifted the United States to the2013 Gold Cup title over Panama.  Coach Jurgen Klinsmann summed it up best as he said "The guys put in a tremendous amount of work and should be very proud,  The best team in the tournament was the United States." 

We saw a Panama side that was very content to sit back and let the United States have the ball.  It made for a real yawner of an opening 45 minutes as Panama watched the Americans pass and play.  Panama set back and was very disciplined not letting the US into dangerous areas.

At halftime Panama was right where they wanted to be.  Sit around and catch the US on a single attack or grab a dangerous set piece.  The only real news of the opening half was Stuart Holden reinjuring the same knee that has given him so much trouble over the last couple of years.

The Americans came out more determined after the break.  Getting the ball wide and earning an early freekick, but Landon Donovan's ball flew through the six and out for a goal kick.

Could the US keep the pressure up and finally break down the determined Central Americans?  The play was much better though and A perfect cross from Demarcus Beasley was headed jsut wide by Landon in the 56th.

Finally in the 68th minute the US got their deserved goal.  A good low cross from Alejandro Bedoya found the Panama centerbacks finally out of position.  Landon Donovan ran in and flicked the ball past Panama keeper Jaime Penedo and towards the side-netting.  Brek Shea raced in and tapped in from close range giving the US a 1-0 lead.

The emphasis now fell to Panama who had generated about a total of two minutes attack time in the opening seventy minutes.  Could they now go forward and get the goal back?  They would definitely have to come out of their shell and only a minute later they finally generated a shot as Roberto Chen rolled wide.

The game should have been put to bed in the 84th as Brek Shea sent a nice cross to a wide open Eddie Johnson on the backpost with a wide open net.  Somehow Johnson directed the ball over the crossbar though keeping Panama alive.

Panama began throwing numbers forward with five minutes left in an effort to get the game tied.  It was time for the Americans to sit in and stand strong.  Omar Gonzalez came off the bench to give the Americans an even stronger defense with five minutes to play.  Other than a few few cheapshots at the end the game ended quietly with the US winning the 2013 Gold Cup.

In the end, the result was right.  The US were the best team on the day and over the course of the entire tournament.  It was the eleventh win in a row for the Americans as they'll take a bit of a break before a pair of tough World Cup qualifiers at Costa Rica and home with Mexico.