Seemingly nothing could separate Costa Rica and Panama in their tight CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals bout on Wednesday. That is, until Anibal Godoy found the back of his own net.
An own goal from Godoy in the 77th minute gave Costa Rica all they needed to advance to the tournament semifinals via a 1-0 win over Panama at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Godoy attempted to clear a free kick from the left on the decisive play, but mis-hit the ball with his headed effort and sent it backwards into the goal.
Both sides had chances in the tight affair, but tame shots and some solid goalkeeping from Patrick Pemberton and Jose Calderon kept the match scoreless until Godoy misplayed his clearance attempt.
- 77' – CRC – Anibal Godoy (Own Goal)
- CONCACAF Man of the Match: Patrick Pemberton
- SEMIS AT LAST: Costa Rica may not have been able to find the back of the net on their own, but that will matter little to them as they are through to the semifinals of the Gold Cup for the first time since 2009. Los Ticos had reached the quarterfinals of the competition in each of the last three editions, but never advanced past that round. They have this time, however, and are now one step closer to claiming their first regional title.
- DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY: Once again, Costa Rica relied on their defense to guide them to victory. The Central American nation's back line was solid for much of the 90 minutes en route to posting its third clean sheet in four matches in this tournament. Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston, who was recently added to Los Ticos' Gold Cup squad as an emergency replacement, contributed to the cause by starting and going the distance in the heart of the defense.
- NIGHTMARE PLAY: Anibal Godoy will want to move on from this as soon as possible. The San Jose Earthquakes veteran made the difference but for the wrong team in the 77th minute when, under almost no pressure, he nodded the ball into the back of his own net. It was a cruel finish for him and Los Canaleros given how tight the encounter was, but it always seemed like this match would come down to one play or mistake.
Costa Rica (4-1-4-1, left to right): #18 Patrick Pemberton – #15 Francisco Calvo, #24 Kendall Waston, #3 Giancarlo Gonzalez, #6 Jose Salvatierra – #2 Johnny Acosta – #7 David Ramirez (65', #9 Ariel Rodriguez) (77', #19 Ulises Segura), #17 Yeltsin Tejeda (86', #5 Kenner Gutierrez), #20 David Guzman, #10 Bryan Ruiz – #21 Marco Ureña
Panama (4-1-4-1, left to right): #12 Jose Calderon – #17 Luis Ovalle, #23 Roberto Chen, #5 Fidel Escobar, #2 Michael Murillo – #6 Gabriel Gomez (68', #21 Leslie Heraldez) – #18 Miguel Camargo (71', #14 Valentin Pimentel), #20 Anibal Godoy, #11 Armando Cooper (58', #22 Abdiel Arroyo), #8 Yoel Barcenas – #9 Gabriel Torres
- CRC: Saturday, July 22 – vs. USA/El Salvador (9 pm ET | FS1 & Univision; TSN GO)
- PAN: Eliminated