Panama cruises past Martinique to reach Gold Cup quarterfinals

Pauline Gross
July 16, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) - Matt Miazga scored on a closer-range header from Graham Zusi's corner kick in the 88th minute, giving the United States first place in its CONCACAF Gold Cup group with a 3-0 victory over Nicaragua on Saturday night.

Incredibly, the US scrambled for the third goal, which enabled the American team to edge Panama for the top spot in the group, after missing not one, but two penalty kicks in the second half - first by Dom Dwyer, then by Joe Corona. The Group B runners-up will face Costa Rica, while the winners get a third-placed team, with both games set for Wednesday in Philadelphia.

The U.S.is coming off a 3-2 victory over Martinique Wednesday. Coach Bruce Arena is expected to avail himself of several additions to his roster - each team is allowed to add six players for the knockout stages.

But the second goal came just seven minutes later, with Bedoya providing the assist once again.

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Alejandro Bedoya surged on the right flank and crossed to the top of the penalty area. His low effort from 15 yards struck the hand of a sliding foe, Bismarck Veliz, and skidded into the left corner for his first goal since the 2013 Gold Cup against El Salvador.

Dwyer was dragged down by Marlon Lopez for the first spot-kick, but the forward's penalty was too narrow and at a good height for Lorente.

Joe Corona opened the account the 36th minute to send the USA into the half with the lead, which Rowe extended not long after the break.

The U.S. has won its group in 13 of 14 Gold Cups, finishing second to Panama in 2011. Nicaragua was down to nine when Luis Peralta was carried off the field. With it looking like the United States might end up finishing second in group play to Panama on goal difference, Miazga scored on a header from a free kick in the 88th minute to grab hold of the group and ensure the USMNT finished on top.

Other reports by GizPress

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