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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

July 28, 2013
GOLDEN
Brek Shea goal gives U.S. 1-0 Cup win

By Kathryn L. Knapp
Chicagoland Soccer News Contributing Editor

Brek Shea scored the U.S. game winner less than a minute after entering the game.
Brek Shea scored the U.S. game winner less than a minute after entering the game.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CHICAGO---Brek Shea entered the match midway through the second half and provided the offensive spark the Americans were looking for, tallying the lone goal of the match leading the USA to a 1-0 win over Panama and its fifth Gold Cup title.

The Gold Cup win is the first for the U.S. since 2007, and was achieved while U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann watched the game from a box upstairs while serving a suspension.

Both teams created chances in the tense match which was played infront of a crowd of 57,920 at Soldier Field

Panamaís Gabriel Gomez crossed a dangerous attempt in the ninth minute that was blocked by U.S. defense. One minute later Marcos Sanchez kicked a high ball over the bar.

The U.S. men turned things the other way, with Stuart Holden blasting the ball high in the 11th minute. Holden, who has returned to the U.S. team after recovering froma knee injury had to leave the game with an injury to the same knee in the 23rd minute and was replaced by Mix Diskerud.

Panamaís Gabriel Torres attempt in the 29th minute wide wide left.

In the 35th minute, Alejandro Bedoya rocketed the ball toward goal. Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo punched it out of harmís way.

Diskerud was fouled in the 41st minute. Donovan bent the free kick into the box, where it was blocked.

After a lackluster first half, the U.S. players came out fired up in the second half. But for every attempt they took, Panama seemed to be one step in front of them.

Donovan sent a freekick into the box in the 48th minute. Clarence Goodson jumped up and headed it wide left, as he was brought down in the box. Donovan sent another attempt on target a few minutes later only to have goalkeeper Jaime Penedo grab it after the ball hit a Panama defenderís hand in the box.

DaMarcus Beasley crossed to Donovan in the 56th minute. Donovan headed the ball just wide left, screaming in frustration at his near miss. Bedoya took down Panamaís Alberto Quintero in the 63rd minute for the first yellow of the match.

A rough tackle on Michael Parkhurst led to a freekick opportunity for the U.S. in the 67th minute. Donovan launched the ball into the box sending it sailing between Joe Corona and Bedoya and out.

Shorty thereafter, Shea replaced Corona, just as the U.S. men were pushing toward goal. Bedoya set the ball into the box and Donovan missed, allowing the ball to skirt toward the far post. Shea snuck in behind the defensive wall and buried it into the net for a 1-0 advantage in the 68th minute.

The Americans kept pushing. Shea sent the ball to Johnson in the 84th minute, but he sent the ball over the bar.

Panama didnít give up without a fight. The U.S. backline fought off a flurry of attempts in the 87th minute. Anibal Godoy launched the ball into the box in the 88th minute. Rimando jumped up and grabbed it, keeping his net clear.

Omar Gonzalez entered the match as the final sub for the Americans in the 89th minute. With pushes being thrown and tempers flaring, the last few minutes of the match were intense, but the U.S. did a good job of controlling the ball and denying Panama a chance at a late equalizer.
   
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