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.
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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.