KANSAS CITY: Michael Bradley scored a second-half equaliser as holders US came from behind to grab a 1-1 draw with Panama to maintain their unbeaten start to the Gold Cup on Monday.
US captain Bradley struck early in the second half to cancel out Blas Perez’s opener for Panama as the Americans wrapped up their first phase campaign with a draw to finish top of Group A.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will now face one of the two best third-placed teams in Saturday’s quarter-finals in Baltimore.
Panama, who had created the better chances throughout an even first half, took a deserved lead on 34 minutes through FC Dallas striker Perez.
Peru-based winger Luis Tejada was the architect, easily rounding Chris Wondolowski down the right flank before whipping in a low cross for Perez to steer home from close range.
The Americans had claims for a penalty and a red card waved away three minutes before half-time after Bedoya was bundled over on the edge of the area by Panama defender Harold Cummings.
The US looked a different proposition after half-time however, with the introduction of Clint Dempsey from the substitute’s bench instantly providing the US with a sharper cutting edge.
The American equaliser came in the 55th minute when clever US interplay culminated with Bedoya picking out Bradley with a low cross in the penalty area.
The Toronto midfielder made no mistake from close range, jabbing home his finish to level the score and preserve the US’ unbeaten start to the tournament.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2015.
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