USMNT eliminated from Gold Cup by Panama in front of electric crowd at Snapdragon Stadium

USMNT vs Panama Snapdragon Stadium

Credit: Abraham Zepeda/EVT Sports/Everything San Diego

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Snapdragon Stadium USMNT vs Panama
Credit: Abraham Zepeda/EVT Sports/Everything San Diego

This Wednesday, July 12, the United States men’s national soccer team played Panama at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego for a game in the semifinals of the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The game ended scoreless in regulation time, but it was not a boring 0-0 result at the “Snap”, as both teams kept it interesting.

A big crowd was expected at the Mission Valley fortress, and the crowd did not disappoint, as over 31 thousand fans were in attendance. The USA support was very present at Snapdragon Stadium led by the San Diego Outlaws, who are a division of the USMNT supporters’ group, American Outlaws. There were several Panama fans scattered throughout the 31,690 present, but the support was overwhelmingly for the U.S.

One notable player locally for the USMNT starting the match was Chula Vista native Brandon Vazquez, who played 74 minutes of the game.

The regulatory 90 minutes ended with some controversy when a goal by Panama’s Ismael Diaz was called offside in stoppage time. There was a clear handball by USA’s Dorde Milahovic inside of the penalty area, but nothing came of it as the referee blew the final whistle.

Extra time was a bit more exciting than regulation, both teams combined for eight shots in the extra 30 minutes of play. The first goal of the match came in the 99th minute when Ivan Anderson scored his first-ever goal with the Panama senior team. The goal came after Anderson chipped the ball over goalkeeper Matt Turner, then finished the opportunity in front of an open net.

The lead did not last for Panama, as Jesus Ferreira scored his seventh goal of this Gold Cup via a first-time volley off a headed-assist by Jordan Morris. Snapdragon Stadium exploded in one of its loudest moments ever with the equalizer from the Colombian-American striker.

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Extra time ended 1-1, the spot in the Gold Cup final was to be decided in the first official penalty shootout at Snapdragon Stadium. The penalties went to sudden death, as Panama emerged victorious with two saves by goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera and a winning penalty by Adalberto Carrasquilla to seal the 5-4 win in the shootout.

Matt Turner saved a penalty in the shootout, but it was not enough to get the victory, Panama did not crumble under the pressure from the fans at Snapdragon Stadium. The Panamanian team filled with joy, while emptying the joy from the USA fans at the Mission Valley fortress.

Panama qualified to its third-ever Gold Cup final and will be looking to win its first-ever title against the winner of the Mexico vs Jamaica semifinal.

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