Panama closed their 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign with a positive result, cruising to a comprehensive 3-1 win over Grenada in the Group D finale between the sides at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Tuesday evening.
Alberto Quintero scored the opener, while José Luis Rodríguez added a brace to pace the Panamanians in a matchup between two sides who had already been eliminated from the confederation championship. Qatar and Honduras sealed the top two spots in Group D, resulting in quarterfinal games.
Panama got on the board just seven minutes into the match through a class finish from Quintero. The 33-year-old attacker made a nifty turn after a feed from Adalberto Carrasquilla to set himself up for a laser shot that he cashed home to the far post past Grenada goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook. The Panamanians then doubled that advantage on 27 minutes off a well-worked sequence that featured a slick backheel from Gabriel Torres to César Yanis, who fed Rodríguez down the left side for the lead-doubling tally.
Panama continued to dominate into the second half and were finally rewarded with a third in the 64th minute, as Rodríguez struck again for his second of the night, setting himself up off a feed from Yoel Bárcenas and ripping home a bending finish.
Grenada picked up a consolation goal in the 76th minute after a giveaway from Panama in their own end set off a counterattack that ended with substitute Romar Frank rounding the goalkeeper and finishing off his team's lone goal.
- 7' – PAN – Alberto Quintero
- 27' – PAN – José Luis Rodríguez
- 64' – PAN – José Luis Rodríguez
- 76' – GRN – Romar Frank
- THE BIG PICTURE: They aren't moving onto the quarterfinals from a tough Group D, but Panama closed off their Gold Cup on a high note with a game that saw them dominate the action from start to finish – aside from the late defensive miscue that prompted Grenada's goal.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Panama's second was a great team goal, and arguably the prettiest of their three.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: José Luis Rodríguez is the easy choice for bagging the brace, including the third goal that effectively put this game away.
- PAN: End of tournament
- GRN: End of tournament