Luis Tejada scored in the 19th minute and Gabriel Gomez converted a penalty kick later in the first half as Panama stunned the United States, 2-1, last night in Tampa to advance to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup.
The victory was the first for the Panamanians in nine meetings with the Americans, who had never lost a match in the group stage of any Gold Cup, the tournament that determines the champion for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Despite the loss, the US team can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals by beating Guadeloupe in its final Group C stage match Tuesday in Kansas City.
Tejada finished a sequence that began with Nelson Barahona’s free kick, tapping in a rebound after US goalkeeper Tim Howard lunged to get a hand on Armando Cooper’s header from left of the net.
American Tim Ream’s foul set up Gomez’s penalty kick, which the Panamanian lifted over the diving Howard for a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute.
“Sometimes you just come out flat for whatever reason. At this level, and against a good team, you can’t do that,’’ said Landon Donovan.
Clarence Goodson gave the US team hope for a dramatic comeback, scoring in the 68th minute. The Americans had a couple of opportunities to pull even, but Chris Wondolowski missed a wide-open net in the 80th minute and Jaime Penedo made two of his six saves in injury time to help Panama hang on.
The loss was just the second for the Americans in their past 21 Gold Cup games. They had been 6-0-2 against Panama, with all the meetings coming in either Gold Cup or World Cup qualifying.
Donovan said it was just a matter of time before a team as talented as Panama had some success against the US.
“CONCACAF teams are getting better and better. It’s a pretty good team we played against,’’ Donovan said. “It’s disappointing, but the reality is it’s over now . . . We’ve got to win Tuesday, see what else happens and see where we end up. We’re still fine.’’
Canada 1, Guadeloupe 0 — Dwayne De Rosario scored on an early second-half penalty kick to lead Canada past Guadeloupe in Tampa.
De Rosario beat goalkeeper Franck Grandel in the 51st minute after Stephane Zubar was given a yellow card for bringing down Ali Gerba in the penalty area.
“I was very fortunate to put the penalty shot in and create a victory for us,’’ De Rosario said.
Jean-Luc Lambourde put Guadeloupe at a disadvantage during the fourth minute when he received a red card following a lunging tackle on Canada’s Will Johnson.
An offside call negated a goal by Gerba 15 minutes into the first half. Gerba had a shot go just wide at the 33-minute mark.
Thery Racon had a good scoring chance during the opening minute of the second half, but was stopped by Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Grandel kept the Guadeloupe deficit at one goal with a strong save on Simeon Jackson in the 65th minute.
Canada had not scored a Gold Cup goal in its previous 242 minutes entering last night’s match.
MLS Galaxy 2, Toronto FC 2 — After Juan Pablo Angel gave host Los Angeles the lead in the 90th minute, Alan Gordon answered right back for Toronto, which earned a surprising tie with the league-leading Galaxy.
It looked as if Los Angeles would have an easy time after Chris Birchall tallied in the second minute of play, but Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei kept his net clear and Gordon pulled the visitors even in the 68th minute.
Whitecaps 2, Sounders 2 — Eric Hassli scored his second goal of the game on an incredible half-volley from outside the penalty area in the 85th minute to pull Vancouver into a tie with host Seattle.
Seattle had a two-goal burst late in the second half, Mauro Rosales in the 81st and Osvaldo Alonso in the 84th. Hassli opened the scoring off a penalty kick in the 29th.
Dynamo 2, Chivas USA 1 — Host Houston took advantage of Chivas’s own goal in the 55th minute to end its seven-game winless streak.
The deciding goal came off Brad Davis’s corner kick. Michael Lahoud hit the ball out of the goal mouth, but it pinballed off of Chivas’s Heath Pearce and into his goal.
Earthquakes 4, United 2 — Steven Lenhart had his first three-goal game in Major League Soccer as visiting San Jose beat D.C. United.
Lenhart also assisted on Simon Dawkins’s goal that gave San Jose a 3-2 lead in the 49th minute.
Rapids 1, Timbers 0 — Drew Moor’s goal in extra time gave Colorado a road win over Portland and snapped the Rapids’ MLS-record draws streak at six.
Real Salt Lake 1, Union 1 — Fabian Espindola scored in the 53d minute to lift Salt Lake into a draw with Philadelphia in Chester, Pa.