By Seth Vertelney, Goal.com
Panama shocked Mexico 2-1 at the Rose Bowl in the opening match for both teams at the Gold Cup. Gabriel Torres scored on either side of the half for La Marea Roja, and Marco Fabian's equalizer just before halftime turned out to not be enough.
Panama drew first blood within the game's first seven minutes. Alberto Quintero made a run into the box and split two Mexico defenders, forcing Raul Jimenez to bring him to the ground. Torres stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick and buried his shot into the corner, stunning the Rose Bowl crowd.
El Tri nearly struck right back, but Rafael Marquez Lugo's header was well saved by Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, before the striker somehow managed to head the ensuing corner kick wide from inside the six-yard box.
Panama nearly doubled its advantage five minutes before halftime, but Cecilio Waterman hit the post after being played in behind the Mexico back line with a simple ball over the top.
After failing to generate many chances, Mexico equalized in first-half stoppage time. Israel Jimenez picked Marco Fabian out with a lofted pass and the Chivas midfielder chested down and finished past Penedo with two quick touches.
Panama's combination on its first goal teamed up again just after the half to score the team's second. Quintero whipped in a right-footed cross from the left flank and Torres stole in to deftly tap home at the near post to make it 2-1.
Fabian then so nearly answered Torres with his second, but his sliding shot from inside the box clipped the outside of the far post and went out of play.
El Tri continued pushing for an equalizer, but Penedo came up huge from a corner kick, punching a Juan Carlos Valenzuela header clear. It would be the last real chance for El Tri, as Panama saw out the match to heap yet more pressure on Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre.
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