Day 7 of the 2013 Gold Cup tournament was a tale of two fixtures. To open the day, Panama and Canada had a forgettable Group A match. Both teams struggled to cash in on opportunities throughout the 90 minutes of play.
Meanwhile, Mexico and Martinique's match was a far different story. The two teams netted a combined three goals before halftime. It was a fixture that provided football fans plenty of offense to enjoy and some beautiful goals.
Here is a look and recap of both of the Gold Cup's matches on Day 7.
Panama 0, Canada 0
In the first game of Day 7, neither Panama nor Canada could tally a goal, and the two teams played to a 0-0 draw. Both sides saw a few chances to put a goal into the opposing net but ultimately could not capitalize.
The first half of play did not feature many serious scoring chances. Panama's Marcos Sanchez sent one wide of the Canada goal early on but there were few other near-goals.
MLSsoccer.com's Chris Bianchi was more than happy to see this game's first half come to a close, tweeting:
First half mercifully over. Missed chance after missed chance from Panama, Canada can't string more than four passes together. #CANvsPAN— Chris Bianchi (@Rapids_News) July 14, 2013
In the 48th minute of play, Panama almost cashed in on one of their 13 shots but goalkeeper Milan Borjan made a crucial save for Canada.
Here is the highlight of Borjan's save, courtesy of Fox Soccer's Twitter account:
Saving the day: Borjan comes up with a big stop against Panama. See it: - http://t.co/Ir8FmEkGvU— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 14, 2013
Through the first 58 minutes of play, Panama had double the amount of shots compared to Canada's four.
Canada went all out for the final 30 minutes of play, moving to a 4-4-2 formation and pushing players forward. The result led to a few chances on goal for the Canadians, who had three shots in the first 27 minutes of the second half.
One of the most notable and bizarre events of this game took place in the closing 20 minutes. At one point, Borjan and Panama keeper Luis Mejia kicked the ball to each other four straight times after each made a save.
The last chance for a goal in this fixture came in the 90th minute when Canada striker Marcus Haber was dumped in the Panama penalty box. The referees decided not to award Haber with a penalty kick, however, and the game ended in a draw.
Canada interim head coach Colin Miller commented on the non-call in his postgame press conference. The official Twitter account of the Canadian National Soccer Team tweeted his comments:
MILLER: "The penalty challenge on Haber was right in front of us. Marcus said there was strong contact. I felt he was fouled..." #canMNT— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) July 14, 2013
With the tie, Canada were effectively eliminated from the Gold Cup tournament and Panama won Group A.
Mexico 3, Martinique 1
In a battle of the teams tied for second in Group A, both sides fired out of the gates in the first half. Martinique's Daniel Herelle and Mexico's Raul Jimenez both had serious chances at scoring in the first 12 minutes of play.
Mexico were the first team to get on the scoreboard in the tightly-contested first game, as Marco Fabian drilled a strike past Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa in the 21st minute.
Here is the highlight of Fabian's successful shot, courtesy of Fox Soccer's Twitter account:
GOAL Mexico! Marco Fabian gives his side a 1-0 lead over Martinique. Watch it: - http://t.co/7XZ8Bz0W6K— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 14, 2013
Not to be outdone by his teammate Fabian, Luis Montes took a chance at a shot about five feet out of the Martinique penalty box. His chance paid off, netting Mexico's second goal that provided some early breathing room.
Martinique did not give their opponents much time to breath, however, as Kevin Parsemain made the best of his key opportunity on goal. He was awarded a penalty kick and sent a strike into the left side of the Mexican net to put the score at 2-1 just before halftime.
Here is a look at Martinque's first and only goal of the match, courtesy of Fox Soccer's Twitter account:
GOAL Martinique! Parsemain pulls one back for his side to make it 2-1. Watch his penalty kick: http://t.co/BDaEMKU4Ho— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 14, 2013
The pace of the match slowed down in the second half after its goal-filled start. Only Mexico were able to net a goal in the final 45 minutes of play.
It was not an easy second half to weather for Mexico, however. Both teams were evenly matched throughout the entire fixture.
Despite just four shots on goal, Martinique challenged Mexico's defense with their seven corner kicks. Ultimately, though, Mexico were able to grab another late goal on their 13th shot to seal the game thanks to Miguel Ponce.
With the victory, Mexico secured their ticket to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup tournament.