Panama into Gold Cup quarters, Mexico triumphs

Updated 13 July 2013
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Panama into Gold Cup quarters, Mexico triumphs

SEATTLE, Washington: Gabriel Torres converted an 85th minute penalty to guide Panama into the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Martinique on Thursday, before Mexico beat Canada 2-0 to pick up their first victory of the competition.
Panama top Group A on six points from two games, ahead of Martinique and Mexico on three points apiece with Canada propping up the standings after two straight losses.
Martinique produced a big upset on the opening day of the 12-team competition by beating Canada 1-0 and they again showed levels of skill and organization well beyond expectations for one of the tournament's supposed minnows.
Panama were frustrated and created few chances but the game played at Seattle's CenturyLink Field turned in their favour when Martinique were reduced to 10 men after Jacky Berdix was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 72nd minute.
Five minutes from the end, Panama substitute Jairo Jimenez was brought down inside the box by a reckless Sebastien Cretinoir challenge and Torres squeezed the penalty just past Martinique keeper Kevin Olimpa.
After their opening loss to Panama, six-times Gold Cup winners Mexico could ill-afford another setback and they attacked Canada from the outset in the second match of the Seattle double-header.
'El Tri' grabbed the lead in the 42nd minute when Jorge Enriquez's delightful near post flick on from a Luis Montes corner set up Raul Jimenez for a thundering diving header.
Mexico's second was controversial though, when Canada defender David Edgar was adjudged to have brought down Marco Fabian when it appeared the Mexican had fallen as he stretched for the ball without any contact.
Fabian converted the penalty and Edgar's frustration spilled over in the 67th minute when he kicked out at Jimenez and was lucky to escape with just a yellow card.
Both teams hit the bar late on with Canada's Marcel De Jong's superbly struck 89th minute free-kick finding the woodwork before Javier Orozco's header rebounded off the frame of the goal a minute later.
Mexico face Martinique in the final round of Group A matches in Denver on Sunday, after Canada take on Panama at the same venue. Canada, stunned in their opener by Martinique, remained in search of their first victory and in danger of missing out on a quarterfinal berth.
The tournament continues in Miami on Friday with the Group B clashes between Central American rivals Honduras and El Salvador and an all-Caribbean affair as Trinidad and Tobago play Haiti.
On Saturday, the United States face Cuba and Costa Rica take on Belize in a Group C double-header at Sandy, Utah, near Salt Lake City.
The winners of the North and Central America and Caribbean regional football championship will battle the 2015 champions for a place in the 2017 Confederations Cup.


LIVE: Tunisia 1-4 Belgium. Double for Lukaku puts Eagles of Carthage on brink of early exit.

Updated 2 min 52 sec ago
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LIVE: Tunisia 1-4 Belgium. Double for Lukaku puts Eagles of Carthage on brink of early exit.

4:38PM: A glimmer of hope for anyone facing Belgium in this World Cup will be how vulnerable they can be at the back. Fantastic going forward, but defensively they are not the finished article...

 

4.30PM: It's starting to look like a training game for Belgium now, who are finally showing the sort of form we expect from such a talented squad. Best two displays from one team of the World Cup so far? We think so...

 

 

4.15PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM: Any hopes Tunisia had of saving their World Cup have been snuffed out by Eden Hazard, who strikes home with the goalkeeper beaten to put Belgium 4-1 up. Unless Panama pull off a miracle tomorrow, you feel Tunisia are out...

4.10PM: Tunisia with a promising attack, but the move breaks down at the vital moment. Tunisia doing the right thing here, they have to attack and find two goals. Quickly...

3.48PM: HALF-TIME - While they had their moments, Tunisia were second best during that first period. Belgium could have perhaps got a couple more and the Eagles of Carthage have it all to do now. 

3.47PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM - Moments after he should have got a goal Lukaku finds the back of the net, with a neat dink over the Mustafa following a great ball from Meunier. 

3.40PM: Again there is a lot to like about this Tunisian performance. Khazri is coming more and more intot he game and they are showng more ambition in the first 40 minutes than they did in the entire match against England. 

3.37PM: LOTS OF SUPPORT BACK HOME

 

 

 

3.32PM: TUNISIA COMING BACK INTO IT - Sassi and Khazri both have good shots saved during a period of dominance for Tunisia. Things are looking better for the North Africans. 

3.30PM: The Tunisia defence is being opened up at will here. Lukaku should have got his second and Belgium's third but a heavy touch proves his undoing. 

3.25PM: COMEBACK ON THE CARDS?

 

3.22PM: SUBSTITUTION -  Bronn is down hurt after blocking a shot, it looks like his knee buckled at a horrible angle. He is replaced by Hamdi Naguez.

3.17PM: GOAL FOR TUNISIA -  What a response! Bronn gets his head on the end of a Khazri freekick - GAME BACK ON! 

3.15PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM -  It is all too easy for Belgium as Lukaku makes a pretty simple run yet finds himself in acres of space before drilling the ball leftfooted into the bottom corner. THis is not the start Tunisia were looking for. 

3.11PM: Almost another for Belgium as Lukaku does well down the right to set uop Hazard whose poor shot is easily saved by Mustapha.

3.10PM: FRUSTRATED FAN

 

3.08PM: Tunisia now know what they need to do, they cannot just sit back and wait for things to happen, they need to take the game to Belgium or face an early exit. 

3.05PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM. Hazard makes no mistake from the spot, slotting the ball home for his 23rd international strike and an early lead for the favorites. 

3.05PM: PENALTY TO BELGIUM. Ben Youssef faouls the rampaging Hazard on the right side of the area and the referee has no hesitation to point to the spot. It's referred to the VAR who confimrs the bad challenge took place in the area. 

3.01PM: Twenty seconds gone and already Tunisia have dished out a hard challenge on Hazard, setting their stall out for the rest of the match. Belgium waste the resulting free-kick. 

3PM: The nationals anthems are being sung with gusto in Moscow. Can the passion in their voices be matched by passion and panache on the pitch? 

2.45PM: THE MEN TUNISIA NEED TO STOP - Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne are the main threats facing the Eagles of Carthage today. Can they keep them quiet? 

 

 

2.42PM: Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul swapped his goalkeeper with Farouk Mustapha taking over from Mouez Hassen, who played in the opening 2-1 defeat to England, failing to stop Kane scoring the late winner for the Three Lions.
In the only other change, Troyes midfielder Saif-Eddine Khaoui replaced Naim Sliti in the middle of the park for Tunisia.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez started with the same team which beat Panama for Saturday's World Cup group match against Tunisia in Moscow.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is looking to add to the two goals he scored in their opening 3-0 rout of Panama for the clash at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

2.40PM: TEAMS ANNOUNCED. 

BELGIUM - Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco; Eden Hazard (capt), Dries Mertens; Romelu Lukaku

TUNISIA - Farouk Mustapha; Syam Ben Youssef, Yassine Meriah, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Ali Maaloul; Dylan Bronn, Ellyes Skhiri, Ferjani Sassi; Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Wahbi Khazri (capt), Anice Badri

2.30PM: The Eagles of Carthage suffered last-minute heartache against England on Monday, when a Harry Kane header in injury-time sealed a 2-1 win for his side in the opening clash of Group G.

Nabil Maaloul’s men now face highly fancied Belgium knowing another defeat would end their interest in the tournament after just one game. They looked solid, without ever being spectacular against England. Can they find another gear and cause a shock against Eden Hazard and Co?