Panama and El Salvador lock horns in CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals
Panama and El Salvador slug it out in CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC Sunday night.
The two teams know each other well being bracketed in the Central America zone.
The Panamanians topped Group C after with seven points. The Central Americans defeated Guadeloupe 3-2 in its opening match and upset the United States 2-1 in their second outing. Panama then closed out its group campaign with a 1-1 draw against Canada.
"Now we must think about the next goal and that is nothing less than beating El Salvador, a team that has gone from strength to strength," said Panama head coach Julio Cesar Dely Valdes after their match against Canada.
Luis Tejada and Gabriel Gomez, who made the winning goal against the Americans, will again be expected to step up. Blas Perez and Amilcar Henriquez are also expected to perform well.
El Salvador, meanwhile, reached the quarterfinals as one of the two best third-place teams after the group stage. Los Cuscatlecos held Mexico scoreless in the first 55 minutes before giving up five goals in their opening Group A match. They
also led Costa Rica until giving up an injury-time equalizer in its next outing. The Salvadorans then vented their ire on Cuba, demolishing the Caribbean side 6-1 in their final outing.
"We've worked really hard so far," said El Salvador striker Rodolfo Zelaya, who has scored three goals in the tournament.
"(Coach) Ruben (Israel) has done a great job of getting the team together. He just started. It's a long process normally to start a team, but we're picking up the pace. Hopefully we can have a good result against Panama on Sunday."
Osael Romero, Eliseo Quintanilla and Arturo Alvarez have also scored a goal in this tournament and will always be threats to the opposition.
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