Panama will face Mexico in the Gold Cup final, giving them another chance to win their first CONCACAF championship on Sunday in Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium. El Tri will play in the championship match for the eleventh time after defeating Jamaica 3-0 in the semifinals, while Los Canaleros eliminated the defending champions, the USA, on penalties.
Mexico vs Panama
Mexico has advanced to the competition’s final three times in a row and will try to win the championship this time around after coming in second last time. Henry Martin, Luis Chávez, and a late goal from Roberto Alvarado gave them an easy 3-0 victory over Jamaica in the semifinals.
The USA, the defending champions, were defeated by Panama 5-4 on penalties in the competition’s biggest upset. Iván Anderson scored the game-winning goal in the first period of extra time in a closely contested match. After only six minutes of extra time, the game finished with a 1-1 tie thanks to the in-form striker Jesus Ferreira’s equalizer.
They are up against one of the tournament’s biggest surprises in Panama. The Central American team, which has only previously made it to the Gold Cup final twice, did so after a shocking penalty shootout victory over the United States in the semifinals.
As Panama advanced to the final for the first time since 2013, Cristian Roldan and Ferreira both missed from the spot in the shootout. Despite the USMNT sending a backup team to the Gold Cup, Panama also defeated Costa Rica, Qatar, and Martinique this year. Without a doubt, Mexico cannot afford to ignore them.
In addition to winning the Gold Cup and becoming the first Central American country to do it, Panama can hoist their first trophy since winning the now-defunct Copa Centroamericana in 2009.
They have yet to score in a Gold Cup final; they lost to the US by a score of 1-0 in 2013, and they missed three of their four penalty attempts in the final against the Americans in 2005 after a scoreless game.
Mexico easily advanced to the championship, with their only blip being a 1-0 loss to Qatar in the group stage when they had already secured a spot in the second round. All four of their tournament victories have been by a margin of at least two goals, and they dominated Jamaica in their semifinal matchup from the beginning.
Mexico defeated Panama 1-0 in the Nations League before to this competition, and their performance at the Gold Cup shows they should be able to hold their own against the underdogs.
Henry Martin is Mexico’s main threat going into the final, so back them to win in 90 minutes and add another Gold Cup to their collection. In his last three games for Mexico, he has scored twice, including the opening goal against Jamaica in the previous round. Support him to score again in the championship.
Tip: Mexico to Carry the Trophy / Henry Martin to Score
Mexico to win – ✅
Henry Martin to score – ❌
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