Panama defeats Trinidad and Tobago in ninth round of penalties and advances to the Gold Cup semifinals
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Jaime Penedo made the clinching save in the ninth round to give Panama a 6-5 victory on penalty kicks after its CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal against Trinidad and Tobago ended tied 1-1 following extra time Sunday.
Penedo saved Lester Peltier's shot after Trinidad and Tobago had a chance to win it in the seventh round. But Daniel Cyrus' try sailed over the crossbar to keep Panama alive.
All four of Panama's Gold Cup games have ended tied 1-1, but it's headed back to the semifinals to face the winner of Sunday's second match between Mexico and Costa Rica MetLife Stadium.
Luis Tejada scored in the 37th minute for Panama, and Kenwyne Jones tied it the 54th for Trinidad and Tobago.
In each of its four Gold Cup games, Panama has gone up 1-0 only to allow the equalizer in the second half. But Panama, the runner-up in the 2013 Gold Cup, keeps advancing and will face Mexico in Atlanta on Wednesday night. Mexico beat Costa Rica 1-0 in extra time in the second match at MetLife Stadium.
"Panama played one of its best matches and I want people in Panama to start thinking and analyzing matches not only for the result, but for the way it plays," coach Hernan Dario Gomez said.
Panama controlled possession on a steamy Sunday but couldn't put away its opportunities. Panama had 13 corner kicks, while Trinidad and Tobago didn't have a single one. But goalkeeper Marvin Phillip made five saves to keep Trinidad and Tobago in it.
Blas Perez had a chance to put Panama in position to win in regulation when Erick Davis launched a perfectly placed cross to find him unmarked on the far post during second-half stoppage time. But Perez's volley sailed across the goal and just wide.
"We've lacked calmness to convert the scoring opportunities we've had in matches," Gomez said.
The lone goal came when Sheldon Bateau's attempted clearance in the box ricocheted off Perez and right to Tejada, who was alone in front of the goal. He beat Phillip with a low shot for his 10th career Gold Cup goal.
But once again, Panama couldn't protect the lead. Khaleem Hyland curled a long free kick into the box, and Jones headed it past Penedo. The score stayed 1-1 through 30 minutes of extra time.
Roman Torres missed Panama's first penalty kick, but Trinidad and Tobago didn't stay ahead very long when Penedo made a save on Bateau in the second round.
After Phillip saved Davis' shot in the third round, Joevin Jones sent his shot over the crossbar to keep things even.
Phillip gave Trinidad and Tobago a chance to win with another save in the seventh round, but Cyrus couldn't convert.
Trinidad and Tobago was the surprise winner of Group C after scoring four minutes into second-half stoppage time to tie Mexico 4-4 in its final group stage match. It was seeking its second Gold Cup semifinal appearance and first since 2000.