Panama vs. USMNT score: USA soccer suffers first World Cup qualifying loss with disappointing road result
The team was uninspiring in attack and rarely threatened
The United States men's national team is no longer undefeated in World Cup qualifying. Gregg Berhalter's side, with numerous changes to the starting lineup that beat Jamaica on Thursday, fell 1-0 at Panama in an uninspiring, concerning performance. An opportunity to remain atop the table in Concacaf was wasted in what was the team's poorest display in qualifying so far with the team not testing the opposing goal even once.
With key pieces like Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna injured, and with key contributors like Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson on the bench to start, the team rarely looked like a threat going forward. Panama, on the other side, were on the front foot all match and looked like the more dangerous squad, but that's not saying much as they recorded just three shots on goal. While that number isn't all that impressive, take into account that the USMNT failed to record a single shot on goal.
With a poor first half for both, it was Panama that came out with more drive and determination, getting the winning goal in the 54th minute thanks to Anibal Godoy. His header at the front post on a corner kick hit off the head of USMNT striker Gyasi Zardes and found its way past Matt Turner.
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Gregg Berhalter made changes in the second half, including two at the break, but none of them helped turn this one around as quality passes into attack were lacking, and too often turnovers saw Panama head the other way.
With this surprising loss, the pressure is on for the USMNT to avoid dropping points on Wednesday against Costa Rica. Los Ticos were 2-1 winners over El Salvador on Sunday.
A pause in play after a nasty collision. Kellyn Acosta is getting his head wrapped now.
Pepi comes on and gets a quick look on goal inside the box, but his right-footed shot from the right side of the box goes across the goal and wide.
Oh no! It's 1-0 to the hosts! On a corner, the ball goes front post, and it ends up hitting Zardes' head and finding the back of the net!