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Own goal sends Costa Rica past Panama (video)

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An Anibal Godoy own goal was the difference as Costa Rica nipped Panama for a semifinal spot in the 2017 Gold Cup with a 1-0 win on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Costa Rica moves onto play the winner of the United States and El Salvador, with that match kicking off at 9:15 p.m. ET.

[ MORE: Where does Morata rank in PL? ]

A tight first half opened up for both sides in the second, at least in terms of chances.

Panama’s Miguel Camargo (NYCFC) was a huge part of Los Canaleros’ counterattacking plans, and used the left wing to his advantage in testing Patrick Pemberton with a cross.

At the other end, it became clear that Panama backstop Jose Calderon was up for the challenge of upsetting Costa Rica, stopping a hard toe-poke from Bryan Ruiz amongst a series of second-half stops.

New York Red Bulls man Michael Murillo sprung onto a chance for Panama in the 64th minute, but couldn’t wrap his foot around the chance.

With Pemberton and Calderon both having solid nights, it was going to take something unusual for a breakthrough.

That came from San Jose Earthquakes center back Godoy, who rose to clear a Costa Rican free kick only to see his header slip back behind Calderon.

The Panama backstop made a pair of saves in the following stages to keep it 1-0, though Los Canaleros rarely looked ready to send the match to penalty kicks.

FOLLOW LIVE – Gold Cup quarterfinals doubleheader

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Panama and Costa Rica square off Wednesday for the right to — in all likelihood — face the United States men’s national team in the 2017 Gold Cup semifinal.

Los Canaleros and Los Ticos meet at 6:15 p.m. ET in Philadelphia, three hours before the reinforced USMNT faces El Salvador at the same location.

[ LIVE: Gold Cup scoreboard ]

The U.S. has never lost to El Salvador, and now boasts knockout round call-ups of Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Darlington Nagbe, Clint Dempsey, and Jesse Gonzalez. Dempsey enters the game one goal behind Landon Donovan for the most markers in USMNT history.

As for the first game, Los Canaleros won a home friendly against Costa Rica in January but have not won a meaningful match against Los Ticos this century.

Ranking the Gold Cup quarterfinalists; New front-runner?

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No pats on the back for correctly selecting the Gold Cup quarterfinal field — well, maybe a little pat… it was almost to a T, after all — as PST correctly tabbed the absurd 8 of 12 nations to move onto the knockout rounds.

But the United States men’s national team threw the proverbial spanner in the works when it comes to our knockout round predictions by calling up CONCACAF killer Jozy Altidore as well as Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Darlington Nagbe, and Jesse Gonzalez.

Canada improved as well, while Mexico decided to make no changes to its squad. That means you should make no mistake about it: The Yanks’ status as stuttering group stage side just turned into tournament favorites.

[ MORE: USMNT stock up, stock down ]

Canada’s draw with Costa Rica stopped our predictions from being spot-on — joking aside, it’s pretty easy to select the field — but would we make any other changes given the group stage? Let’s see.

8. El Salvador — A scrappy bunch that could’ve given the U.S. B-Team a hassle, it won’t be able to handle Altidore, Dempsey, and Bradley.

7. Honduras — Didn’t score a single goal aside from their awarded 3-0 win over French Guiana.

6. Canada — This is where the difference in win probability between sides gets razor-thin; Inexperience has us pegging the Canucks just behind their quarterfinal foes.

5. Jamaica — On the flip side of Canada, running to the 2015 Gold Cup final while knocking off the USMNT will have the Reggae Boyz feeling okay.

4. Panama — Allowed just two goals in the knockout rounds, including a relatively dominant performance against the U.S., and was the only team to shutout Kevin Parsemain and Martinique.

3. Costa Rica — Tabbed before the tournament as a possible first time winner, allowed just a single goal to Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies.

2. Mexico — El Tri is El Tri, even as a B Team, and will like avoiding Costa Rica and the U.S. until the final.

  1. USMNT — Should be able to clinch the first of two lottery chances at being CONCACAF’s representative in the 2021 Confederations Cup.

Panama roll past Martinique, into Gold Cup quarterfinals

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Panama booked their place — along with a laundry list of out national teams — in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Gold Cup on Saturday, by way of a 3-0 victory over Martinique at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.

[ MORE: Costa Rica, Canada book quarterfinal places ]

The result not only sends the 2015 third-place finishers through to the knockout rounds, but also mathematically seals the final-eight places of the United States, Mexico and Jamaica.

Panama went ahead barely 60 seconds before halftime, courtesy of a rare friendly connection between New York City FC and New York Red Bulls players, Miguel Camargo and Michael Murillo.

Los Canaleros worked a short corner into an uncontested cross by Camargo, who found Murillo in a bit of space near the penalty spot. The Red Bulls defender did brilliantly with

[ MORE: Bradley, Altidore to be added to USMNT’s roster for KO rounds ]

Abdiel Arroyo put Panama 2-0 ahead right on the hour mark, as the 23-year-old’s shot took a wicked deflection en route to beating Kevin Olimpa.

Seven minutes later, Gabriel Torres corralled a cross from the right wing and rounded Olimpa before slotting the ball into an empty net to make it 3-0.

FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT, Panama jockeying for Group B supremacy

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Group B play at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes on Saturday, with the U.S. national team and Panama each seeking to finish top of the heap and book their preferred place in the quarterfinal round.

Up first, second-place Panama faces third-place Martinique (4:30 p.m. ET) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, followed by the group-leading USMNT versus last-place Nicaragua at 7 p.m. ET.

[ LIVE: Gold Cup scoreboard ]

Of added importance, a first- or second-place finish in Group B would mean delaying the inevitable — facing Mexico, the presumed winners of Group C — until the final. Finishing third in Group B is where you do not, under any circumstances, want to be: taking on El Tri in the quarterfinals on Thursday (should you finish as one of the two best-placed third-place teams).

Group B standings

1. USA — 4 points (+1 GD, 4 GF)
2. Panama — 4 points (+1 GD, 3 GF)
3. Martinique — 3 points (+1 GD, 4 GF)
4. Nicaragua — 0 points (-3 GD, 1 GF)