Jan 26, 2013, 1:33 PM EST
There was surprisingly little drama in Friday’s fifth place match at the Copa Centroamericana in Costa Rica. Panama, in the battle of two winless (and undefeated) teams, took a 1-0 lead into half time against Guatemala, striker Blas Pérez putting the Hex qualifiers up after 28 minute.
With the final spot in this year’s Gold Cup on the line, you expected more fight from the Guatemalans, but that never happened. Early second half goals from Alcibíades Rojas and Alberto Quintero gave los Canaleros an insurmountable lead, Minor López’s late goal unable to save face for Guatemala. Panama won, 3-1.
The result left one 2011 Gold Cup qualifier out of this year’s tournament while Panama, so dangerous in the last version of CONCACAF’s championship, qualify for their fifth straight competition. They are the last team to book their place in this summer’s tournament:
North American zone:
- United States
- Trinidad and Tobago
Central American zone:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
Jamaica is the only team in the final round of World Cup qualifying who failed to make this summer’s Gold Cup. Belize, Haiti, Martinique, and Trinidad and Tobago make this year’s tournament after failing to qualifying in 2011 while Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala and Jamaica fail to return.
While no schedule (or groupings) is set, the competition is scheduled to begin on July 7, with the venues for this year’s tournament announced on Wednesday.
Mexico and the United States are always favorites to make the final, but Gold Cups in the middle of World Cup qualifying tournaments can be a little less predictable. In 2009, Mexico needed penalty kicks in the semifinal to advance past Costa Rica (before defeating the U.S. 5-0 in the final). In 2005, Panama made their only final appearance before losing to the United States.
Nov 27, 2014, 9:13 AM EST
Wilshere has surgery on left ankle, as young midfielder set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Nov 27, 2014, 8:51 AM EST
Bradley opens up about his first season at Stabaek, his future in Europe and much more.
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Klinsmann’s men drop further in FIFA’s latest rankings.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:15 PM EST
Is the FA getting too involved in non-events?
Nov 26, 2014, 10:30 PM EST
Wenger was in good spirits following his side’s victory that put an end to his two-match losing skid.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:50 PM EST
Yes, Barkley dove and yes, (news flash) Martinez is overly protective of his players.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
Thigh injury sidelines Moses for 8 weeks.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:32 PM EST
“I feel that right now I am playing some of the best football of my career,” Fabregas said.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:38 PM EST
“It goes without saying, I’d love to come,” Heskey told BBC Radio Leicester.
Nov 26, 2014, 6:44 PM EST
Poor Franck. All fired up and not even on the 23-man shortlist.
Nov 26, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Can Liverpool build off this draw in Sofia? Their manager Brendan Rodgers has cause for optimism.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:21 PM EST
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Nov 26, 2014, 5:19 PM EST
The raid on Southampton continues, as their recruiting guru heads to Spurs.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:43 PM EST
It was an upbeat display from the Gunners, who move on to the Champions League knockout stage.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:42 PM EST
Reds cough up late goal, but can still advance to the last 16 of the UCL with a win over Basel in their final group game.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
Watch Ronaldo go level with Raul as he puts some pressure on Messi.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:41 PM EST
Good start for the Arsenal, scoring early through Yaya Sanogo.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
As Tottenham continue to struggle, Mauricio Pochettino believes his team needs more rest between competitions.
Nov 26, 2014, 2:27 PM EST
The Zenit skipper earned three points for the home side as Benfica’s Champions League dreams ended in St. Petersburg.
Nov 26, 2014, 1:58 PM EST
Follow all the action from the UCL’s eight games on Wednesday, right here.
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