Turner's Gold Cup hopes end after Panama defeat

Matt Turner during the USA's 1-1 draw against Panama

Matt Turner’s USA saw their hopes of retaining the Concacaf Gold Cup end at the semi-final stage after they were eliminated by Panama on penalties.

The game in San Diego remained goalless after 90 minutes with very little to separate both sides, with Panama coming closest to breaking the deadlock by having the ball in the net twice, but both goals were correctly ruled out for offside.

However they opened the scoring nine minutes into extra-time when Ivan Anderson cleverly flicked the ball past an on-rushing Turner on the edge of the box and slotted it into the empty net. 

The U.S. wasted no time with a quick response six minutes later as Jesus Ferreira caught a floating ball on the volley just inside the 18-yard box to guide it past the Panama goalkeeper’s bottom right, keeping him top of the scoring charts with his seventh strike of the tournament and set up a shootout.

Having saved two penalties against Canada in the previous round, Matt once again came up trumps when he denied Cristian Martinez from 12 yards, but missed kicks from Ferreira and Cristian Roldan saw Panama progress to the final, where they will play Mexico.

Turner, who has captained his team throughout the tournament, spoke after the game: "We made some bad plays, we made some good plays, but at the end of the day, it came down to a penalty shootout and going through 120 minutes and penalties twice in four days is just emotional. It's been a lot." 

Turner also highlighted the growth within the squad, adding: "There's a lot of guys here that have developed a lot throughout it and it's only a good thing for the player pool to have experiences like this to instil hunger in the younger players, instil hunger in myself.

"It was great to get to play with some new faces and some younger guys. I got that childish joy of playing back, which was really nice."

The loss brings to an end a busy summer for Matt, who played seven times for the USA, starting with their recent Concacaf Nations League success before playing in all their Gold Cup matches.

Our goalkeeper played a big part in helping the U.S. reach the final four after his heroics in the quarter-final when he saved two penalties against Canada. He was also able to create history by becoming the fastest keeper to reach 20 clean sheets and 20 wins for his country. 

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