Torres sends Panama into Gold Cup knockout stage

Torres sends Panama into Gold Cup knockout stage

Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 11: Gabriel Torres #9 of Panama celebrates after scoring a goal on a penalty kick against goalie Kevin Olimpa #23 of Martinique at CenturyLink Field on July 11, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. Panama defeated Martininque 1-0.

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 10:43 PM

SEATTLE  -- Gabriel Torres buried a penalty in the 85th minute and Panama advanced to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup tournament with a 1-0 win over Martinique on Thursday night.

Martinique, which beat Canada in its first game, can still advance out of the group stage, but will need to beat Mexico on Sunday.

"That was the result we wanted," Panama coach Julio Dely Valdez said. "It was a really complicated match, but we knew we were going to face a good team. Looking at the game, we had a certain superiority. Maybe it wasn't that big, but it was a certain superiority.”

Torres, who had three dangerous shots saved from the run of play by goalkeeper Emmanuel Vermignon, made good on his try from the spot, sending the ball to the back left corner. The penalty was given when Jairo Jimenez was taken down in the box by Sebastien Cretinoir.

Martinique, which finished the game a man down when Jacky Berdix was sent off early in the 73rd minute with his second yellow card of the night, nearly tied the game in stoppage time. But Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo pulled down a target ball in the box while crashing into Martinique's Kevin Parsemain.

"Any red card like that has an impact," Martinique coach Patrick Cavelan said. "However, that's football, and you just have to adapt for it.”

Martinique, which didn't even get off a shot during the first 45 minutes, showed some spark coming out of halftime. Steve Gustan launched a 25-yard shot just two minutes into the half that Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo dove to his left to save. Gustan had another try just three minutes later, but his shot from the top left corner of the box went barely wide.

Two plays in the box that could have resulted in a penalty kick for Martinique - a hand ball in the first half, and Gustan being taken down in the second half - were not called.

"In the last few games, I'm counting five penalties that weren't given," Cavelan said. "That counts for a lot.”

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