US wins third Gold Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The United States overcame Panama 3-1 to win the 2005 Gold Cup at Giants Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:54 IST
  • Total Shares

East Rutherford:

The United States overcame Panama 3-1 to win the 2005 Gold Cup at Giants Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday. The final of the Gold Cup was the fourth meeting between the US and Panama in nine months, the previous three in World Cup qualifying. After more than half an hour of largely counterattack football, the US nearly took the lead. Close calls Clint Dempsey struck a header from nine metres out that seemed destined to score, but a stunning diving save by Panama goaltender Jaime Penedo pushed the ball over the cross-bar. Gabriel Gomez nearly scored for Panama five minutes later. He cut inside and launched a rocket towards the net but could only watch as it sailed just wide of the left post. Early in the second half, Panama had another great chance. Luis Tejada played across off of his chest up into the air and blasted a bicycle kick towards the net but g'keeper Kasey Keller made the save for the US. Later in the half, Dempsey almost broke the deadlock. Santino Quaranta threaded a pass through the legs of Penedo but Dempsey slid too late to put the ball in the empty net. Extra time With no goals, the match went to extra time. In the first extra time period, Jorge Luis Dely Valdes nearly won the match for Panama when he came close to beating Keller. The game then went to penalties. With the United States up 1-0 already on a Santino Quaranta score, Dely Valdes hit the bar as Keller dived the opposite way. After Felipe Baloy evened the score and Landon Donovan put the United States up, Alberto Blanco came up to try to even the contest at two. Blanco's attempt at the spot sailed over the bar, giving the US a chance to seal the victory with one more score. Brad Davis did just that as he rolled a left-footer just inside the right post to clinch the victory and prevent Panama from to winning the crown. Panama has played only once before in the Gold Cup, getting eliminated after the first round in 1993. (AP)