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Mexico vs. Panama: Highlighting Top Goalscorers in 2013 Gold Cup Semifinal

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 20:  Marco Fabian #10 of Mexico pauses for the national anthem before the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal game against Trinidad & Tobago at the Georgia Dome on July 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2013

Mexico and Panama will go head-to-head in the second of two 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal matches Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Central Americans have yet to lose a single match thus far and are coming off a 6-1 thrashing of Cuba in the quarterfinals this past weekend. Meanwhile, El Tri has had its fair share of ups and downs, losing to Panama in the two teams' Group A opener and surviving Trinidad and Tobago in the quarters, thanks to a timely goal late.

The two squads combined for three goals in the Gold Cup opener nearly three weeks ago, and there's sure to be a few more scored in Wednesday's high-stakes matchup.

Here we'll take a closer look at where those goals are likely to come from.

 

Raul Jimenez, Mexico

Without Raul Jimenez, Mexico might not be suiting up for Wednesday's semifinal clash with Panama.

The 22-year-old Mexican striker delivered the biggest moment for El Tri in Saturday's quarterfinal match against Trinidad and Tobago in Atlanta, scoring in the 84th minute to break a 0-0 deadlock and send the North American powerhouse to the next round.

Before this past weekend, the 6'3" forward had been a star for the defending champions in the group stage, putting Mexico ahead right before halftime in a critical matchup against Canada.

Look for Jimenez, who consistently makes excellent runs into the box, to give Panama's defense plenty of problems in Dallas, as his size will allow him to be a major factor in the air as well.

 

Gabriel Torres, Panama

No player has scored more goals at the 2013 Gold Cup than Panama's Gabriel Torres, who has netted five through three matches, per ESPN Stats & Info:

The 24-year-old forward scored twice in his side's Group A opener against Mexico, leading Panama to a surprising 2-1 win over El Tri to start the tournament. In Panama's second group clash against Martinique, Torres scored late in the 85th minute to break the deadlock and help his side secure a berth in the quarterfinals.

After sitting out of Panama's final group match against Canada, Torres returned to the lineup in Saturday's quarterfinal tilt against Cuba, scoring the first two goals of the match for Panama after the Cubans took an early 1-0 lead.

Minutes after leveling the match on a successful penalty kick, Torres put the Central Americans ahead for good as they went on to cruise 6-1.

 

Marco Fabian, Mexico

Mexico's top goalscorer at the 2013 Gold Cup is 24-year-old Guadalajara midfielder Marco Fabian, who was absolutely on fire through the group stage. 

Fabian scored in each of El Tri's three group matches, his last goal coming in the Group A finale against Martinique. 

Fabian went scoreless in Mexico's narrow 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in the quarterfinals Saturday but started the match and was active throughout. That said, expect the emerging star to play a key role for the reigning Gold Cup champions Wednesday against Panama.

After all, Fabian has been on a ridiculous tear since being called up, scoring four goals in just seven total appearances for the senior national team. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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