Gold Cup 2017: USA 1-1 Panama

Dwyer unlocked the match five minutes in the second half and that is it. Thereafter, USA mysteriously stopped playing and let Panama comeback in this game. The Central Americans displayed a great football and should have won the game. – Full credit to Panama in this game, who went up against one of the pre-tournament favorites and did what they did last time these teams played in the Gold Cup — tied 1-1 (Panama won the resulting penalty shootout in the 2015 Gold Cup 3rd-place game, to finish ahead of the USMNT). While both sides had their chances, Panama put together a much more coherent performance overall and were perhaps unlucky not to get all three points against a disjointed USMNT.

Indeed, Panama was the better side in this game and it shows how difficult it will be for the US team to win a sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup. Coach Bruce Arena comments on a disappointing start 

“We didn’t play well on the day. I thought we didn’t deal well with the pressure, especially in the midfield. We turned over way too much. We didn’t do a good job of establishing a rhythm, getting our team more involved in the game. Our passing wasn’t good on the day … It forced us to defend more than we should have, and it takes a little bit of energy out of you.

“I’d like to believe that as we continue to move on in group play, that we’ll play better and we’ll get some positive performances. We knew Panama would give us a tough game, and they certainly did. Give them credit for that. I think at the end of the day we’re probably, hopefully going to make it out of group play.”

Next up is group leader Martinique on Wednesday and USMNT must come out with a win to take over the group.