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Continued: Shea's quick goal gives U.S. 1-0 victory over Panama in Gold Cup final

  • Article by: NANCY ARMOUR , AP National Writer
  • Last update: July 28, 2013 - 9:18 PM

And as the game went on, the Americans began to break Panama down. They finished with three shots on goal and another eight that were off target — six in the second half alone. Their best chance came in the 56th minute, DaMarcus Beasley chipped a ball into Donovan, who was in front of the goal at the near post. Donovan got his head on the ball, but not at the angle he wanted and it flew wide of the net. As the crowd groaned, Donovan threw back his head and Beasley swatted the red flag in the corner.

"We were all hopeful, we all wanted to win," Panama coach Julio Dely Valdez said. "But we all go away feeling we gave it our all. I said I wanted to walk away from the Gold Cup feeling good, and I do."

Shea replaced Joe Corona in the 68th minute, just as the Americans were pressing forward again. Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on his left foot and crossed to Donovan, who took a mighty swing — and missed. But it was enough to throw goalkeeper Jaime Pendeo off, and when the ball rolled past Panama's Roberto Chen and on toward the net, Shea was ready. Parked inches from the goal line, Shea stuck out his left foot and tapped the ball into the net for his second international goal.

"I was there just to put it away," he said.

Asked if it was the quickest goal he'd ever had or the closest, Shea replied, "Easiest."

The Americans had a chance to double the lead in the 84th minute when Shea fed a wide-open Eddie Johnson 2 yards from the goal. But Johnson couldn't finish it, sending the ball flying over the cross bar.

But it didn't matter as Panama never threatened.

"I think they were rewarded today for the fantastic Gold Cup they played," Klinsmann said. "They put all their energy in that they had. They should be very, very proud of themselves."

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