Mexico vs. Panama: 5 Key Players to Watch in Gold Cup Semifinal

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2013

Mexico vs. Panama: 5 Key Players to Watch in Gold Cup Semifinal

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    Mexico and Panama are ready to fight for a place in the final match of the 2013 Gold Cup. Both teams faced each other in the group stage and the Canaleros won 2-1.

    It was a historic match for Panama. They had never defeated El Tri either in an official or friendly game.

    This time, Mexico will seek revenge and try to finally convince the fans and media about their performance.

    Make no mistake, though. Panama comes to the semifinal as one of only two undefeated teams so far—along with the United States—and know that defeating El Tri is not impossible anymore.

    Let’s find out which players will make the difference in this game.

Marco Fabian

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    The Chivas midfielder is trying hard to become a valuable asset as a left-winger. Marco Fabian is adjusting to this position little by little.

    In this tournament, he has scored three times; one of them from the penalty spot, the other two by cutting in and proving his fine touch.

    Fabian has to take advantage of his unbalancing skills as well as his speed. He gives Mexico a lot when he shows his creativity and produces goal opportunities for his teammates.

Blas Perez

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    Blas Perez not only knows how to score, but he is also a fantastic ball-feeder. The Panama veteran has one assist, nine shots on target and one goal in this Gold Cup edition.

    At age 32, Perez is the second all-time leading scorer for the Canaleros. The "Super Raton" is very fast and has a powerful right-foot shot.

    When he partners with Gabriel Torres, he can be lethal.

Raul Jimenez

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    Raul Jimenez is becoming one of the most important players on the pitch. Some of his best qualities include his tremendous header ability, his speed and his evasive maneuvers.

    This young striker—22 years old—understands his role in the pitch. He creates spaces and moves quickly inside the box. He tries to score or assist his teammates whenever he has the chance.

Gabriel Torres

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    Along with USA's Chris Wondolowski, Gabriel Torres is the top scorer of the tournament so far. He has scored five times and became a hero in the opening match against Mexico. Torres scored twice to grab a historic win for his country.

    He knows how to work in tight spaces, which makes him a very unbalancing footballer. His right-foot shot is powerful and accurate inside the box.

Miguel Layun

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    Miguel Layun has created real goal opportunities from the right sideline. The America winger has two assists so far and has been one of the best Mexicans on the pitch.

    Layun has managed to distribute the ball correctly. He knows that if he keeps playing like this, Jose Manuel de la Torre may take him to the first team.

    He has a lot to prove yet, but he is giving more results than any other right-winger so far.