Some teams struggle to muster up a response after going down a goal, but Panama did quite the opposite.
Panama used a quick second-half rally to beat Nicaragua, 2-1, in a rainy CONCACAF Gold Cup bout at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday night. The Panamanians fell behind in the 48th minute of the Group B clash after Carlos Chavarria fired a golazo to the top left corner, but they wasted little time in hitting back.
Ismael Diaz equalized almost immediately with a well-taken effort of his own, and Gabriel Torres then pushed Panama ahead for good in the 57th minute.
- 48' – NCA – Carlos Chavarria
- 50' – PAN – Ismael Diaz
- 57' – PAN – Gabriel Torres
- CALL IT A COMEBACK: Panama deserve plenty of credit for the way they bounced back in this one. After going down in the 48th minute via Carlos Chavarria's golazo, the Panamanians turned up the intensity and found a quick equalizer. Inspired, they kept pouring on the pressure before Gabriel Torres found the back of the net. Nicaragua searched for an equalizer after that and threatened, but Panama were able to close it out.
- MUCH BETTER SECOND HALF: Take the goals away and the closing 45 minutes still made for the better of the two halves. Both teams created chances and got forward with more precision, something that was not the case in the opening stanza, when both teams lacked sharpness in various aspects.
- PRESSURE IS ON THE US: With Wednesday's victory, Panama are in the top spot in Group A with four points. The US could pull level with a triumph against Martinique, but goal differential will come into play. Even so, it appears the top spot in the group will come down to the final matchday, when Panama take on Martinique and the US lock horns with Nicaragua.
Panama (4-4-2, left to right): #12 Jose Calderon – #13 Roderick Miller, #15 Eric Davis, #5 Fidel Escobar, #2 Michael Murillo – #18 Miguel Camargo (65', #19 Josiel Nuñez), #20 Anibal Godoy, #6 Gabriel Gomez, #8 Yoel Barcenas (86', #11 Armando Cooper) – #9 Gabriel Torres, #10 Ismael Diaz (69', #7 Ricardo Clarke)
Nicaragua (4-4-2, left to right): #1 Justo Lorente – #3 Manuel Rosas (70', #22 Cyril Errington), #5 Erick Tellez, #6 Luis Copete, #2 Josue Quijano – #7 Carlos Chavarria, #8 Marlon Lopez (81', #13 Bryan Garcia), #9 Dany Cadena, #14 Eulises Pavon (46', #19 Luis Peralta) – #10 Luis Galeano, #11 Juan Barrera
- PAN: Saturday, July 15 – vs. Martinique (4:30 pm ET | FS2 & Univision; TSN GO)
- NCA: Saturday, July 15 – vs. United States (7 pm ET | Univision; TSN GO)