USMNT shuts out Panama 1-0, sweeps Concacaf Gold Cup group stage
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Before 17,037 boisterous fans at Children’s Mercy Park, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Panama 1-0 to win Group D of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup thanks to Jozy Altidore’s 66th minute strike.
The victory completes a perfect group stage run for the USA, which kept clean sheets in all three matches for just the second time in its history while also finishing with a +11 goal differential, the team’s best ever mark in a Gold Cup group stage.
The USA (3-0-0; 9pts) and Panama (2-1-0; 6pts) advance from Group D to take on the second and first place teams from Group C, respectively. In Group C, Curaçao (1-1-1; 4pts) grabbed a second place finish thanks to a last-second goal from Jurien Gaari that earned the island nation a 1-1 tie with group winners Jamaica (1-0-2; 5pts) on the final match day and a date with the USA in the tournament quarterfinals. Kickoff for USA-Curaçao is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on FS1, Univision and UDN.
2019 Gold Cup – Group D Standings
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Both sides fielded revamped lineups compared to their first two group games with U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter making wholesale changes to the USA’s starting XI, which had remained unchanged through the opening pair of matches. The U.S. was not without experience on the field however as Altidore (113 caps), captain for the match Omar Gonzalez (51) and Jordan Morris (30) bolstered a lineup that included Gold Cup debutants Daniel Lovitz and Jonathan Lewis.
The USA amassed two-thirds of the possession and played a majority of the game in midfield and their offensive third, while limiting Panama to the odd counter attack and a solitary shot on target. With more than 20 touches in the Panama penalty area, the U.S. attack needed the first half to find its cutting edge as Altidore sent the Americans’ two best chances of the opening 45 minutes wide of the left post and directly at José Calderón in the Panama goal.
On the half hour mark, Djordje Mihailovic put Lewis in on goal but the pass forced the speedy winger to slow up entering the box, and his shot was blocked by recovering Panama defender Fidel Escobar.
While the game got stretched in the final 10 minutes of the opening half, resulting in U.S. goalkeeper Sean Johnson making the one save he was called upon to make in the match, he and the USA defense hunkered down after the break to provide the U.S. the stability it needed to attack at will.
The U.S. defense also played a role in the game winning goal as center back Matt Miazga got on the end of Mihailovic’s corner kick and headed it toward goal, causing a poor clearance from Kevin Galván that Altidore capitalized on in the 66th minute to score the game winner.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jozy Altidore, 66th minute: A corner kick from the right flag was lifted to the far side of the penalty area for Matt Miazga to head toward goal. An attempted clearance by Panama sent the ball further into danger near the right post where Altidore tracked the flight of the ball and spun with it in order to set up a bicycle kick that bulged the back of the net. USA 1, PAN 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- With the win, the USA clinched the top spot in its Gold Cup group for the 14th time in 15 tournaments.
- Jozy Altidore earned his first start and collected his first goal since his brace in the USA’s 4-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Panama on Oct. 6, 2017. Altidore’s goal was the 42nd of his international career and fifth all-time in the Gold Cup.
- The strike was Altidore’s fourth all-time against Panama and third international goal at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park.
- Gregg Berhalter made 11 changes to the starting XI that began the first two group stage matches. With the swaps, 22 have played for the USA during the group stage with only goalkeeper Tyler Miller yet to appear.
- Veteran defender Omar Gonzalez captained the USMNT for the first time. Gonzalez is the eighth different player to wear the armband in the team’s nine matches under Gregg Berhalter in 2019. The others: Aaron Long (2 games), Michael Bradley, Matt Miazga, Tim Ream, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and DeAndre Yedlin.
- Defender Daniel Lovitz and winger Jonathan Lewis made their Gold Cup debuts.
- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made one save to keep his fourth career clean sheet.
- The 2019 tournament marks the second time the USA has kept clean sheets in three group stage matches when the Gold Cup has featured four-team groups. The first instance occurred in 2007.
- The +11 goal differential is the USA’s best in the Gold Cup group stage. The previous best mark came in 2013 when the team went +9 in matches against Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica.
- The USMNT is 14-1-6 all-time against Panama, 12-1-4 on home soil and 6-1-4 in Concacaf Gold Cup play.
- The USMNT is 35-1-4 all-time in the Gold Cup Group Stage.
- The 2019 January Camp friendly vs. Panama is the only friendly match the teams have played in their last 10 encounters. It was only the second friendly the teams have ever played, with all 19 other matches, including tonight’s win coming in official competition (Gold Cup or World Cup qualifying).
- Before tonight’s match, the U.S. and Panama had tied their three most recent Gold Cup matches – one of which was the 2015 tournament’s third place game that Los Canaleros eventually won on PKs 3-2. The USA’s last Gold Cup victory against Panama was a 1-0 win to claim the 2013 tournament title.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: June 26, 2019
Competition: 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup – Group D
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local time)
Weather: 82 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 0 0 1
USA – Jozy Altidore 66th minute
USA: 12-Sean Johnson; 14-Reggie Cannon, 19-Matt Miazga, 3-Omar Gonzalez (capt.), 16-Daniel Lovitz; 15-Cristian Roldan, 6-Wil Trapp, 20-Djordje Mihailovic; 11-Jordan Morris (21-Tyler Boyd, 70), 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Gyasi Zardes, 83), 18-Jonathan Lewis (10-Christian Pulisic, 65)
Substitutes not used: 1-Zack Steffen, 22-Tyler Miller, 2-Nick Lima, 4-Michael Bradley, 5-Walker Zimmerman, 7-Paul Arriola, 8-Weston McKennie, 13-Tim Ream, 23-Aaron Long
Head Coach: Gregg Berhalter
PAN: 12-Jose Calderon; 2-Francisco Palacios, 13-Adolfo Machado (capt.), 3-Harold Cummings, 6-Kevin Galvan (23-Michael Murillo, 76); 21-Omar Browne, 4-Fidel Escobar, 8-Marcos Sanchez, 7-Jose Luis Rodriguez; 17-Jose Fajardo (18-Abdiel Arroyo, 46), 9-Gabriel Torres (10-Edgar Barcenas, 68)
Substitutes not used: 1-Luis Mejia, 22-Orlando Mosquera, 5-Roman Torres, 11-Armando Cooper, 14-Valentín Pimental, 15-Eric Davis, 16-Rolando Blackburn, 19-Alberto Quintero, 20-Ernesto Walker
Head coach: Julio Dely Valdes
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 7 / 7
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 0
Fouls: 17 / 12
Offside: 0 / 2
PAN – Kevin Galvan (caution) 74th minute
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Mari (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
4th Official: Reon Radix (GRN)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore