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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

July 13, 2015
FIT TO BE TIED
U.S. Men battle Panama to 1-1 Gold Cup draw


Michael Bradley scored the equalizer as the U.S. Men played Panama to a 1-1 draw Monday.
Michael Bradley scored the equalizer as the U.S. Men played Panama to a 1-1 draw Monday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
KANSAS CITY, Kan.---Michael Bradley’s 14th career international goal gave the United States Men’s National Team a hard-fought 1-1- draw against Panama in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A match at Sporting Park Monday night.

Panama needed the game more than the United States did. With a pair of wins in its first two games, the U.S. had already clinched the top spot in the group, but Panama needed a win in order to assure itself a spot in the knockout round. It will now have to await the remainder of the group results to see if it qualifies as one of the third place teams that will go through.

FC Dallas forward Blas Perez gave Panama the lead in the 34th minute. Panama’s all-time scoring leader Luis Tejada turned in the penalty area to put a ball across the goal box. Perez slipped past defender John Brooks to slam the ball into the net.

Bradley got the equalizer in the 55th minute. Clint Demspey and Gyasi Zardes played a one-two combination near the top of the penalty area. Dempsey then slid the ball to the left for Alejandro Bedoya. Bradley made a run through the penalty area to meet Bedoya’s pass and put it in the net.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan kept the U.S. in the game on several occasions, coming up with big saves, and also preventing an own goal, while the U.S. could not finish the chances it created.

In the 16th minute, Chris Wondolowski slipped a ball forward for Bedoya making a run down the right side. Bedoya cut into the area, and instead of looking for both Bradley and Zardes who were open, he attempted the shot himself, which was easily stopped by Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

Two minutes later, Penedo made a diving save on a shot by Bradley.

Guzan came up with back-to-back heroics in the 22nd minute. A corner kick into the area bounced off defender Ventura Alvarado and would have gone into the U.S. net had Guzan not blocked it. The rebound went out to Valentin Pimentel, but again Guzan was there to make the stop.

The Americans had a chance to equalize just before the half, when Bedoya challenged two defenders at the top of the box. Bedoya was taken down, it appeared outside the box, but there was no call from Mexican referee Roberto Garcia Orozco.

The chippy game produced three yellow cards for the United States, to Brooks, Timothy Chandler and Alvarado. Brooks was shown his second yellow of the tournament in the 16th minute for a foul on Perez, and will have to sit out Saturday’s quarterfinal in Baltimore.

After Bradley tied the game, both teams had opportunities to take the lead.

In the 64th minute, Perez put a shot right at Guzan. Miguel Camargo tested Guzan twice in the span of two minutes, forcing the US ‘keeper into a relatively easy save in the 73rd minute, and then a diving one- handed save in the 75th minute.

Kyle Beckerman tried from distance in the 77th minute, sending his 30 yard shot just wide. The U.S. put on constant pressure looking for the winner. Clint Dempsey’s right footed shot from the right side of the area was blocked in the 82nd minute, and Brooks missed a minute later.

Panama had two chances in stoppage time, with Perez and Armando Cooper forcing Guzan into two more saves.






   
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