The United States and Haiti have advanced to the quarterfinal stage of the 2015 Gold Cup. Panama finishes third in Group A and can advance so long as they do not have the lowest point total of all third-place group finishers.
The United States had already advanced in first place prior to tonight's Panama match, but their 1-1 draw ensured that the Panamanians would finish third and risk their tournament on future results. That United States goal came through a wonderful team buildup and a perfectly placed assist from Alejandro Bedoya for Michael Bradley to knock in.
In the first match of the evening, Haiti posted an improbable 1-0 defeat of Honduras, securing their first knockout round berth since the 2009 Quarterfinals. Dynamo players Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido did not receive playing time throughout the group stage and will now return to Houston to resume club duties. Honduras has now gone winless in major tournaments through this year's Gold Cup and the 2014 World Cup.
Group A contributed several enjoyable moments to the 2015 Gold Cup. For Haiti, they found a hero in Duckens Nazon who scored a late equalizer against Panama and the game-winner to eliminate Honduras and ensure a quarterfinal advancement for the tiny nation.
Clint Dempsey led the group with 3 goals following his loss of the captain's armband. Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan put in terrific 3-game performances and the United States were through to the knockouts before the dust ever settled.
FC Dallas' Blas Perez drove the Panamanian attack and helped earn a hard fought draw with the United States. Now, Panama sit on the verge of their sixth consecutive quarterfinal and look likely to advance.
Andy Najar showed Honduras a glimpse of their bright future, carving through the defenses of the United States and Panama. Bolstered by a series of disappointments but armed with young talent, Honduras seems hopeful for the years to come.
United States will play the third place team of either Group B or C, depending upon results through Wednesday. Panama will face the winner of Group B. These quarterfinals take place on Saturday, July 18th in Baltimore, Maryland.