USA Vs. Panama Final Score, Gold Cup 2011: Panama Defeats USMNT 2-1

For the first time in the history of the competition, the United States has lost in the group stages of the Gold Cup. Though they just barely hung on at the end, for the first 60 minutes of the game Panama were the clearly superior team, and they were able to ride that superiority to a 2-1 victory, taking them top of Group C with six points.

The first goal of the game was credited to Luis Tejada, but it appeared that it may have actually been a Clarence Goodson own goal. In the 19th minute, following a free kick, an unmarked Eduardo Dasent put a header on target at close range, making it impossible for Tim Howard to direct his save. The USMNT keeper did well to just stop the shot, but the ball dribbled into the back of the net after it bounced in off the foot of either Goodson or Tejada.

Later in the first half, Tim Ream gave away a penalty when he hauled down Blas Perez in the box. Gabriel Gomez converted it to give Panama a 2-0 lead, and the United States were shell shocked. They went into halftime down 2-0, with Bob Bradley frustrated and everyone knowing they needed to make changes.

The same team came out of the locker room for the second half, but they didn't exactly come out with a different attitude and style of play. Panama still looked very comfortable to start the period, but the United States changed the game in the 60th minute when they introduced Alejandro Bedoya and Sacha Kljestan into the game.

In the 66th minute, a goal finally came for the United States as Clarence Goodson headed in a Michael Bradley flick off of a Landon Donovan corner kick. From that point on, the United States were the vastly better team as Panama went into full survival mode, but the second goal never came. Landon Donovan missed one great opportunity, while substitute Chris Wondolowski skied an absolute sitter, as the United States missed their opportunities to maintain their perfect group stage record.

Guadeloupe takes on the United States in the final game of Gold Cup group play, and anything but a win will be unacceptable for the USMNT. Their tournament is not over, but it's possible that both their potential seeding and their confidence have been adversely effected by tonight's events.

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