Atlanta, GA – Two goals apiece from Gabriel Torres and Blas Perez helped Panama reach the semifinals of the Gold Cup on Saturday with a 6-1 triumph over upset-minded Cuba.
The Cubans were the surprise package in the final eight, and they took the lead in the 21st minute through Jose Alfonso Pita.
But Panama stormed back and equalized four minutes later after a handball inside the area allowed Torres to fire home the tying goal from the spot.
Torres was on target again in the 38th to put Panama up 2-1 at halftime, and the match took a dramatic turn for the worse for Cuba in the 58th when Ariel Martinez was sent off for a poor challenge in midfield.
Panama took advantage by scoring four times over the final 22 minutes, with Perez netting twice, while Carlos Rodriguez and Jairo Jimenez each found the net as well.
Up next for Panama will be a semifinal meeting on Wednesday July 24 with Mexico after El Tri claimed a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Saturday's other quarterfinal.
Raul Jimenez scored the lone goal of the contest for Mexico in the 84th minute when he redirected a low cross from the right wing past goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams six yards from goal.