Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Gold Cup semi-final clash between Panama and Mexico.
Hernan Dario Gomez
's men booked their place in the last four of the competition with a victory over Trinidad and Tobago in the quarter-finals on penalties. Los Canaleros held their nerve to secure a 6-5 win from the spot and are now just one game away from reaching the final of the competition for the second time in two years.
There was also drama in Mexico's fixture as they overcame Costa Rica to seal their semi-final berth. Miguel Herrera
's men were taken to extra time and the match looked to be heading for penalties before they were awarded a penalty in the last minute of the second period and Andres Guardado
fired them into the last four.
Both teams have a decent record in the competition as Panama are bidding to reach the final of the Gold Cup for the second time in as many touraments, while Mexico have won the competition six times since its inception back in 1991.
The winner of this match will face Jamaica in the final after the Reggae Boys recorded a surprising 2-1 victory over the USA in their match earlier today. So we will definitely have a new winner of the competition this year as the holders are out.
The team news has been announced and we'll start with Panama.
PANAMA STARTING XI: Penedo, Cummings, Torres, Machado, Davis, Pimentel, Cooper, Quintero, Godoy, Tejeda, Nurse
Subs: Calderon, Mejia, Henriquez, Gomez, Camargo, Pinzon, Perez, Torres, Blackburn, Patrick, Arroyo, Stephens
MEXICO STARTING XI: Ochoa, Aguilar, Reyes, Rodriguez, Alanis, Layun, Herrera, Dos Santos, Guardado, Vela, Peralta
Subs: Munoz, Orozco, Nilo, Herrera, Rios, Corona, Duenas, Vazquez, Dos Santos, Esquivel, Orozco
Mexico have made one change to their starting lineup from their victory over Costa Rica as Oswaldo Alanis comes into the team to replace Jesus Corona, who drops to the bench. Panama have made three changes to their side from their win over Trinidad and Tobago as Roberto Nurse, Adolfo Machado and Anibal Godoy all come into the team for Blas Perez, Gabriel Gomez and Miguel Camargo.
The two sides last met last year in a friendly match as Mexico recorded a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Erick Torres. Mexico hold the advantage in the head-to-head record over history as they have won six of the 11 meetings between the sides compared to Panama's two, while three matches have ended in draws.
We've been through the anthems and now kickoff is just moments away.
KICKOFF! We're underway in the Georgia Dome
A long ball over the top of the Panama defence sees Vela break in behind and his clever backheel brings Peralta into the play in the final third. The forward tries to hit an effort at goal, but Torres deflects his strike behind for a corner.
YELLOW CARD! An early booking for Vela as he elbows Godoy in the ribs in a clash in the box, which is well spotted by the referee. The corner is still to come into the box, although a foul and a free kick probably should have been awarded for the infraction by Vela.
Guardado lifts the ball in from the left and Peralta leaps to make contact on the volley, but he can only guide his effort past the post.
Mexico work the ball well down the right flank as Vela releases the run of Herrera. The midfielder tries to pick out Peralta in the middle with a low ball across the face of goal, but it only travels out for a goal kick.
Panama come forward down the right wing and Cooper lifts the ball into the box. Ochoa comes off his line to try to punch the ball clear, but he cannot make contact as Tejeda tries to bring the ball under control. However, Rodriguez manages to win the ball and clear the danger.
El Tri continue to have the better of possession and Layun earns a free kick down the left wing as Pimentel bundles him over 30 yards from goal. A decent opportunity to threaten for Herrera's men.
Mexico waste the opportunity as Layun and Vela fail to work the ball into the box and Panama manage to quell the attack.
Guardado and Vela link up down the left and the former Arsenal forward fires a low ball across the face of goal, but Penedo reads the danger and manages to gather the loose ball.
El Tri threaten as they work the ball across the pitch to the advancing Aguilar down the right. The full-back takes a touch to get the ball out of his feet and then cuts back on to his left foot before driving a low effort at goal, but Penedo gets down well to make the comfortable save.
Panana finally exert some pressure on the Mexico goal as they win three corners in succession, but the delivery from the right is poor from Cooper and El Tri are able to handle the threat. Quintero tries his luck from distance following a clearance, but his effort sails over the bar.
RED CARD! Tejeda is sent off for Panama for an elbow to the face of Rodriguez.
All hell breaks loose as Tejeda pleads his innocence to the referee, but the official is having none of it. The Panama players are furious and the Mexicans are not helping the situation. There could be a lot more cards coming here.
YELLOW CARD! Godoy goes into the book for questioning the referee, while Cooper somehow escaped a push on the referee in the aftermath of the incident.
Tejeda has not left the field yet as he is slowly making his way down the tunnel. His teammates have tried to escort him off the field, but he is not budging. Ochoa finally makes the forward see sense to escort him off the pitch.
We're finally back underway in the Georgia Dome, but the sending off and the resulting melee has taken the tempo out of the game.
Mexico are using a patient approach to try and unlock the Panama defence to use their numerical advantage. However,
Los Canaleros have been disciplined at the back so far.
Nurse tries to do his utmost to latch on to a ball over the top of the Mexico defence as he is in a footrace with Alanis to win the ball. The striker tries to do too much to win the ball as he bundles the defender over and Mexico win a free kick.
Machado puts a long throw into the box for Panama from the right and Ochoa fails to claim the ball at the first attempt. Nurse tries to put the loose ball into the net, but the keeper manages to atone for his error to gather the ball before the striker can fire an effort at goal.
Mexico have offered very little in the final third since Los Canaleros were reduced to 10 men. Vela, Guardado and Peralta have seen nothing of the ball and the Panama defenders have found life quite comfortable in the last 10 minutes.
CHANCE! Godoy win the ball in midfield and drives forward through the middle before sliding the ball out wide for Pimentel. The midfielder takes a touch and then tries to catch Ochoa out at his near post, but the keeper is able to make a comfortable save.
There will be four minutes of added time.
CHANCE! Davis lifts a free kick in from the left and Pimentel rises highest in the box to power a header at goal. His effort appears to be creeping under the crossbar before Ochoa reaches to tip it over the bar. Close for Panama!
HALF-TIME: Panama 0-0 Mexico
It's goalless at the break after the first 45 minutes of this semi-final clash. We have not been short on drama as Panama were reduced to 10 men in the 24th minute when Luis Tejeda was shown a straight red card for an elbow to Maza Rodriguez. The striker was furious with the decision and refused to leave the field, while his teammates were not happy with the decision of the official, they managed to hold themsevles together for the rest of the half.
Los Canaleros created the best chance of the half when Valentin Pimentel headed at goal just before the break, but he was denied by a good save by Guillermo Ochoa. Mexico struggled to get into gear after the sending off, but you can bet Miguel Herrera will be demanding more of his players after the break to ensure they secure a place in the final of the competition,
SUBSTITUTION: Alanis makes way for Esquivel at the break for Mexico.
RESTART: We're back underway in the Georgia Dome.
Mexico bring the ball down the left and win a corner. Layun's delivery is cleared back to him on the right wing and he lofts a deep cross to the back post for the run of Rodriguez, but he heads his effort wide of the post.
Mexico win a free kick right on the edge of the box as Peralta is brought down by Cooper. Vela stands over the ball awaiting the referee's whistle.
CHANCE! Vela lifts his effort over the wall, but the striker creeps narrowly over the bar with Penedo beaten on the angle. El Tri were inches from taking the lead with that effort.
YELLOW CARD! Herrera goes into the book for a poor challenge on Quintero.
GOAL! Panama 1-0 Mexico (Torres)
Panama win a corner down the right as Mexico failed the clear the danger from the resulting free kick from Herrera's challenge. The delivery from Cooper was pinpoint and Roman Torres rose highest at the back post to power a header into the bottom corner past Ochoa. A great goal from Los Canaleros, and could we have a second shock in the Gold Cup this evening.
While the Panama players were celebrating they were hit by a few missles from the crowd and Cooper and Nurse appeared to be bothered by the incident, but both are playing on.
Mexico look stunned by Panama's goal and are desperately trying to build a tempo to get back into the game. They've been poor in the final third in the opening 60 minutes of this match and they have to improve to ensure they won't crash out of the competition.
El Tri work the ball down the left and Guardado whips the ball in with power looking for the run of Peralta, but Penedo is alert to the danger and races off his line to punch the ball clear.
Herrera may have to consider further changes to his team as they are struggling to carve out any clear-cut opportunties at the moment, despite having a numerical advantage. He has two substitutions left up his sleeve, and he can turn to Giovani dos Santos on the bench who has proven quality.
Pimnentel does well to win a free kick for his side down the left flank to alleviate the pressure on his back four. Davis lifts the free kick into the box and Nurse climbs highest to head at goal, but his effort goes wide of the target. It was a decent attempt by the forward and better than anything Mexico have contributed in the last 15 minutes.
Aguilar pushes forward to the edge of the box before sliding a through ball into the feet of Peralta. The forward takes a neat touch to beat one defender, but Torres comes in with a great tackle to win the ball and clear the danger. The Panama skipper is having an excellent game this evening.
CHANCE! Mexico take a short corner and Guardado is able to whip the ball in from the left unchallenged. Vela gets between two defenders to head an effort at goal, but his attempt goes wide of the post.
CHANCE! Ochoa keeps Mexico in the game with a fine one-handed save to deny Cooper. The Panama winger raided forward through the middle of the El Tri defence and let fly with an powerful strike from the edge of the box, but the keeper dove to his right to palm the ball behind for a corner.
SUBSTITUTION: Orozco comes on for El Tri to replace Layun.
CHANCE! Cooper's pace is causing Mexico all sorts of problems and he threads a through ball into the path of Nurse down the right inside channel. The forward aims for the bottom corner with his shot, but it slams into the sidenetting.
SUBSTITUTION: The shot is Nurse's last action of the game as he is replaced by Arroyo. The forward also gets booked for time-wasting by the referee as he makes his way off the pitch.
Corona eases the pressure on the Panama backline with a clumsy foul in the final third when Los Canaleros were under pressure. He kicked out at Quintero and it was an easy decision for the referee to award a free kick.
YELLOW CARD! Pimentel goes into the book for dissent.
Mexico win a free kick right on the edge of the box on the left-hand side of the pitch. It's right on the byline after Pimentel fouled Vela, Guardado will take the free kick.
CHANCE! Guardado lifts the ball into a dangerous area and Aguilar heads at goal, but his effort is straight into the hands of Penedo.
SUBSTITUTION: Pimentel makes way for Panama and is replaced by Henriquez.
Cooper continues to be a thorn in the side of Mexico as he wins a free kick after going down under the challenge of Corona. It wastes vital seconds for Los Canaleros.
PENALTY TO MEXICO!
The Panama players are furious as the referee has just awarded the softest penalty you will ever see. A ball over the top of the Panama defence put Torrres under pressure. Between him and Penedo they managed to stop the danger from Vela, but Torres then fell on the ball and the official pointed to the spot. The defender did not control the ball with his hand or appear to touch it in any way. However, he has made his decision.
This match has turned into a farce as there are ugly scenes on the pitch. Panama players are throwing things at the Mexico players and vice versa. There are discussions between Torres and Mexico manager Miguel Herrera, and were yet to have the spot kick yet. Referee Mark Geiger
has had a stinker here and has made an absolute mountain out of a molehill.
Tensions have calmed between the sides but we are yet to have the spot kick. Neither team are covering themselves in glory and the referee certainly has not.
The officials appear to have stopped the match, and the coaches from both teams are on the field. Are we going to gave a resolution to this match?
Hang on! The teams have come to their senses and finally this penalty is about to be taken. Guardado will take it against Penedo.
GOAL! Panama 1-1 Mexico (Guardado pen.)
After all that Guardado keeps his cool and slots the ball into the bottom corner past the the outstretched hand of Penedo. Coolness personified from the Mexico skipper.
YELLOW CARD! Cooper goes into the book for a shove on Esquivel.
YELLOW CARD! Aguilar is yellow-carded for a push on Davis.
FULL-TIME: Panama 1-1 Mexico
We're going to extra-time as Guardado's controversial late penalty has earned Mexico a second chance to earn a place in the final after Roman Torres looked to have sent 10-man Panama through to the title game. Referee Mark Geiger was already unpopular with Los Canaleros after sending off Luis Tejeda in the first half, but his decision to award the spot kick in the dying minutes pushed a lot of Hernan Dario Gomez
's men over the edge. They did threaten to leave the field at one point, but played on although they still vented at the officials at the whistle. There's plenty more drama left in this match.
We're underway in extra-time in the Georgia Dome.
Aguilar raids forward down the right for El Tri and manages to cut back inside on to his left foot, but his strike is well blocked by Torres.
Cummings fouls Peralta in the centre circle and tensions nearly boil over as Torres exchanges words with Orozco, while Cooper is also involved. There will be definitely be more cards in this game.
YELLOW CARD! Yet another yellow card as Orozco goes into the book for Mexico.
CHANCE! Corona does well to beat his man with a piece of skill down the left and his low cross into the middle almost finds Vela, but Cummings diverts the ball over the bar. Excellent defending.
Vela lifts the ball to the back post for the run of Orozo at the back post, who clashes with Torres in the area, but his deflected header goes straight into the arms of Penedo.
CHANCE! Davis whips an arcing ball into the box froma corner from the right, but Ochoa does well to get above Henriquez to punch the ball clear under his crossbar.
PENALTY TO MEXICO!
Another penalty for Mexico as Peralta goes down under the challenge of Torres. The claim in stronger than the first, but it's still very soft as the defender appeared to jostle the forward out for possession, but Geiger pointed to the spot. Guardado will take the spot kick.
GOAL! Panama 1-2 Mexico (Guardado pen.)
Guardado holds his nerve once again and he nestles his effort into the bottom corner. Another cool finish from the Mexico captain.
HALF-TIME: Panama 1-2 Mexico
We're back underway in the Georgia Dome.
Vela weaves his way into the box and slides the ball to Peralta, the forward tries to carve out space for a shot, but he gets crowded out. Vela takes on the shot himself, but his effort is blocked by Cummings.
YELLOW CARD! Cummings goes into the book and is now the seventh Panama player to be booked this evening following his poor challenge on Orozco.
SUBSTITUTION: Henriquez makes way after only coming on as a substitute himself in the 86th minute as he is replaced by Stephens.
Mexico are knocking the ball around with ease at the moment as fatigue is finally creeping into the legs of the Panama players.
Panic in the Mexico box as they fail to clear their lines from a cross from Cooper. Rodriguez swipes at the ball and mistimes his clearance, which nearly allows Davis to pounce but he falls over. Aguilar then botches his clearance, but Ochoa gathers and is then bundled over by Arroyo.
Mexico are slowly edging to victory here as they have done a good job of maintaining possession and it's beginning to look a bit desperate for Hernan Dario Gome's men now. Time is quickly running out in the Georgia Dome.
There will be two minutes of added time.
CHANCE! Mexico knock the ball around with ease before Peralta sends a through ball for Guardado to complete his hat-trick, but Penedo comes out to make the block to deny the midfielder.
FULL-TIME: Panama 1-2 Mexico
Mexico secure their place in the final of the competition in very controversial circumstances. Two penalties from Andres Guardado were enough to send El Tri through to the title game where they will play Jamaica in Phladelphia on Sunday.
Panama will feel robbed this evening as they were just a minute away from victory before referee Mark Geiger awarded the controversial penalty to help Mexico level the match. He then awarded a second which was dispatched by Guardado again to secure the victory for El Tri. You could tell Panama were holding back until the final whistle to let their full feelings known to the American, and they did just that as they stormed over to him and he was forced to leave the field with a lot of security. Panama played extremely well and will feel rightly aggrieved not to be playing in the final.
Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.