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Donovan sets up Panama finale

Landon Donovan brace powers US to CONCACAF Gold Cup finals as Panama stun Mexico to book their first berth since 2005.

Last Modified: 25 Jul 2013 10:13
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Panama beat Mexico 2-1 in the day’s other semi-final [AFP]

Landon Donovan scored twice as the United States raced into a fifth straight CONCACAF Gold Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Honduras on Wednesday.

The hosts now face Panama in Sunday's final at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Panamanians defeated two-time defending champion Mexico 2-1 in the other semi-final to deny them their fourth consecutive finals matchup against the US

In-form Donovan

A 10th consecutive victory for the Americans was inspired by yet another impressive showing from forward Donovan, who has scored three goals and added four assists in his last two matches.

Mexico beat the US in the last two finals in 2009 and 2011 but the form of the Americans, and particularly that of Donovan, suggests they are ready to improve their records in the finals.

Donovan helped the US get off to a strong start at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas when he found Eddie Johnson for the opener in the 11th minute before adding his first goal with a volley in the 27th minute.

Honduras, who split two World Cup qualifiers with the US earlier this year, battled back with a headed goal from Nery Media in the 52nd minute.

A minute later, though, Donovan scored yet again with a tap in to all but clinch the victory for the Americans.

US manager Jurgen Klinsmann was ejected in the game's final minutes for slamming a ball to the ground in frustration.

It was unclear whether he would be suspended for the final.

In the late match, Panama repeated their July 7 victory against Mexico to return to their first Gold Cup title game since 2005 when they lost to the Americans.

Mexico dominated but Panama converted better on opportunities starting with Blas Perez's goal in the 13th minute.

El Tri struck back to tie the contest on Luis Montes' header in the 26th minute before Roman Torres delivered the decisive blow for Panama in the 61st minute off a Gabriel Torres corner.

355

Source:
Reuters
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