Gabriel Torres scored a penalty with 7 minutes to go as Panama edged past Martinique in a scrappy Gold Cup group A game in Seattle. Torres’ third goal of the tournament saw Panama take a 6 point lead at the top of the group with the non-FIFA side slipping to 3rd following Mexico’s win over Canada.
|Helpless...Olimpa is deflated after Torres converts|
In a poor 1st half Torres had the only real chance just after the quarter hour mark when his weak effort flew straight into the hands of Bordeaux goalkeeper Kévin Olimpa. The packed midfield meant that the 3-pronged attack of Steeve Gustan, Kévin Parsemain and Frédéric Piquionne were not seeing enough of the ball.
Panama continued to shade the 2nd period but took until the 83rd minute to find a way through after Sébastien Crétinoir fouled Jairo Jimenez in the box, allowing Torres to fire past the diving Olimpa. Les Matinino had been battling with 10 men after Jacky Berdix’s saw red for a 2nd yellow after he brought down the tricky Torres 10 minutes before the penalty.
It was a frustrating defeat for the Caribbean side but the sensational late win over Canada in the opening game leaves them in good stead to claim 1 of the best 3rd-place positions and make the last 8. They conclude their group games against a weakened Mexico side in Denver on Sunday.
Match information –
Score: Panama 1-0 Martinique
Goals: Gabriel Torres 83’ (pen)
Martinique XI: Olimpa; Crétinoir, Arnolin, Berdix, Babin; Herelle, Thomert, Coureur [Germany 76’]; Parsemain, Piquionne [Arquin 79’], Gustan.