Published: 11:47 11/06/2013
USA play Panama tonight in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, which determines the regional champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean and is a World Cup qualifying event.
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The CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament is held every two years and the winner gains automatic entry to the next Confederations Cup. In 2007 the Gold Cup was won by the USA who beat Mexico 2-1. Two years later, Mexico avenged this defeat by soundly beating USA 5-0 to win the tournament, and then repeated this success in 2011 with a 4-2 win against the United States in the final. Panama, in contrast to the USA’s strong performance in the tournament, has only been a finalist once –back in 2005 – when they were beaten 3-1 on penalties although the team was third placed in 2011. However, Panama did beat the United States 2-1 in the second group stage, the first ever defeat of the Americans by Panama, ending the Americans’ 26-game, first-round home unbeaten streak in the competition.
Panama, on six points, is just one point behind the USA in the tournament, with Costa Rica leading the competition on goal difference. However, the Canaleros do not have star striker 32-year-old Blas Perez in the team as he has been suffering from gastroenteritis. The FC Dallas player has played an integral role in Brazil 2014 qualifying, scoring 10 goals so far, and his absence will be a major loss to the team. The USA team will be missing striker Gomez, and midfielders Zusi and Jones but has more depth in the team to compensate.
There are two further tournament games tonight to view – Mexico v Costa Rica and Honduras v Jamaica. Take a look at the live streaming sports schedule to find these, and other free live football streams.
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