Panama beat the United States 5-4 in a shootout in the Gold Cup semifinals at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on Wednesday night.
Jesus Ferreira cancelled out Iván Anderson’s extra time strike for Panama to send the game to penalties with the match tied 1-1 and Thomas Christiansen’s side won it from the spot to hand interim U.S. coach B.J. Callaghan his first loss since taking over national team duties.
“There’s a lot of learning lessons that we’re all going to take away as we now continue our preparation to the path of 2026,” Callaghan said, looking ahead to the Americans co-hosting the World Cup.
“You had some older senior guys that had experience that we challenged to take on more leadership roles, mentorship roles, and that came out. And then we had a group of young players, whether they are U20 — had played at the U20 — or Olympic age, and all striving to become part of that roster in 2026.”
The U.S. started strong and hit the post through Cade Cowell in the opening minutes, but it was Panama that looked better as the half wore on with the visitors having a classy goal ruled out for offside as the game went to the break tied 0-0.
The U.S. had just 34% possession in the first half.
U.S. manager B.J. Callaghan consoles Cristian Roldan after losing to Panama in a shootout at the Gold Cup.
“The first half is my fault,” Callaghan said of the U.S. having just 34% possession in the opening 45 minutes. “I didn’t set the team up the way they should have been set up.”
The balance of play levelled out in the second half and Brandon Vazquez shot over the crossbar from a Cowell cutback in the 52nd minute right before Ismael Díaz saw his close-range header palmed away by Matt Turner.
In extra time, Anderson put Panama in front with a clever move to beat Turner near the top of the area before finishing into an empty net, but Ferreira added to his Gold Cup leading goals tally with a well-placed volley from Jordan Morris’ header back across the box to tie the game at one apiece.
Orlando Mosquera saved a penalty from the USMNT’s Cristian Roldan before Adalberto Carrasquilla beat Turner from the penalty spot in sudden death of the shootout to send Panama to their third Gold Cup final in the country’s history.
Panama will face the winner of Wednesday’s other semifinal between Jamaica and Mexico at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
It was looking similar to the U.S. match against Canada in the quarterfinals Sunday when the Canadians went up 2-1 in extra time before the Americans got the equalizer and won the penalty shootout with two Turner saves.
This was the first time the USMNT went to extra time in consecutive matches, and they had never played extra time twice in the same tournament.
The U.S. dodged a possible penalty in the fourth minute of regulation stoppage time when video review determined Djordje Mihailovic did not commit a handball.