The Mexico vs Panama Gold Cup semifinal will be held this Wednesday, July 24, 2013 (7:00 PM Pacific) at the Cowboy Stadium. On a normal circumstance, Mexico would be the huge favorite to defeat Panama; however, in this tournament Panama has won 4 out of 4, defeated Mexico in their first game, and has demonstrated better soccer overall. Wednesday night’s match will be “el Tri’s” opportunity to return the favor, while the winner will go into the final against the winner of the USA vs Honduras match.
The Mexican national team has played far below their expected form throughout this year, and also the Gold Cup. Jose Manuel ‘Chepo’ De La Torre has not found the medicine needed to return Mexico to the team it was just one year ago. Against Panama they have an opportunity to improve in all the lines, especially offensively where they have not scored many goals against weaker teams.
It is time for Mexico to play like the region’s elite team; there are no exceptions, as elimination against Panama would be the final nail in the coffin for Chepo’s time as “el tri’s” coach. This team has played consistently better game-after-game, but they are taking baby steps while doing so. If Mexico finally reaches their needed form, they will defeat Panama without hesitation.
Unlike Mexico, Panama has been the nice surprise of this Gold Cup. They have won all of their games, while also scoring 9 goals, and only receiving 2. The team coached by Julio Dely Valdes is not the ‘A’ squad, as several players like Felipe Baloy and Luis Tejada are missing. Nonetheless, this team has understood how to play the competition intelligently, but always playing on a counter-attack system, no matter the rival.
Counter-attacking was the tactic used when they defeated Mexico 2-1 in Group A’s first match. They were not the dominant team in that game, but they were the most efficient, as they took advantage of their few scoring opportunities. At the Cowboy Stadium they will be met by an atmosphere similar to the one at the Rose Bowl, and it will be historic if they defeat Mexico for the second time in a row.
Mexico vs Panama Prediction
The Mexico vs Panama semifinal will be a close match, however, it will end Panama’s perfect run. Wednesday will have Panama playing defensively, like they did during their first game, while Mexico will attempt to dominate the ball. The final score will be decided by a one goal differential, as both teams will have a similar performance.
The Mexico vs Panama match will end in a 1-0 win for the Aztec squad; Mexico will go into yet another Gold Cup final, but their performance will not have improved much.
Mexico vs Panama TV Schedule
The Mexico vs Panama Gold Cup semifinal match will be televised this Wednesday, July 24, 2013 on Unimas, UnivisionDeportes.com (online), and Fox Soccer Channel at 7:00 PM Pacific.