Mexico, Panama advance to Gold Cup semis
ATLANTA (AP) -Mexico and Panama set up a semifinal rematch in the CONCACAF Gold Cup after each won their quarterfinal matches on Saturday.
Panama beat 10-man Cuba 6-1, while Mexico escaped with a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
Panama is unbeaten thus far in the tournament, with three wins, including a 2-1 victory over heavily favored Mexico in group play, and a draw. Mexico, a six-time Gold Cup champion, is going for its third straight title.
The United States faces El Salvador and Honduras takes on Costa Rica in the other quarterfinal matches on Sunday.
Cuba took a 1-0 lead on Jose Ciprian's goal in the 21st minute, but Gabriel Torres' penalty four minutes later leveled the score, and his second goal gave Panama the lead for good in the 38th minute. Torres has five goals in four Gold Cup games.
Cuba played a man down and gave up four goals in the last 32 minutes after Ariel Martinez was given a red card for a hard foul against Blas Perez.
Perez scored twice, and Carlos Rodriguez and Jairo Jimenez also netted for Panama.
Panama coach Julio Dely Valdes said he was upset by his team's lapse in concentration early in the game.
"It came in a moment when Panama was dominating the game, and we were looking to attack,'' Valdes said. "It's very difficult when you get scored upon because it gets very complicated. We had to continue to pursue the attack.''
Panama, which has never won the Gold Cup, hasn't allowed more than one goal in eight straight matches in the tournament. The Panamanians lost to the U.S. in the semifinals two years ago.
Mexico's Raul Jimenez beat diving goalkeeper Jan Williams with a shot into the left corner of the net in the 84th minute to lead his side to victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
Mexico dominated the match, but Williams foiled several Mexican scoring opportunities, deflecting two shots in a one-minute span in the second half, to keep the Trinidadians in the contest.
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