WASHINGTON (AP) – Luis Tejada scored a 90th minute equalizer and then converted the winning penalty in the shootout to give Panama victory over El Salvador on Sunday and a place in the Gold Cup semifinals.
With the teams locked 1-1 after extra time, Tejada, Amilcar Henriquez, Anibal Godoy, Luis Renteria and Nelson Barahona all converted in the shootout, while goalkeeper Jaime Penedo stopped the first shot he faced from El Salvador's Dennis Alas.
Panama will play the United States on Wednesday in Houston. The two met in the group stage earlier in the tournament, with Panama beating the hosts 2-1.
El Salvador went ahead in the 78th minute. Rodolfo Zelaya was brought down in the area by a Roman Torres tackle and he converted from the spot, putting the ball into the top left side of the net.
Zelaya had missed a penalty in the first half.
El Salvador looked to have secured a place in the semifinals until Panama's 90th minute equalizer.
Blas Perez sent a cross from the right to the back post where Tejada got off a shot. El Salvador goalkeeper Miguel Montes appeared to the make the save, but it was ruled the ball had crossed the line. There was a long delay before the goal was added to the scoreboard, and it was briefly taken off before finally staying up for good.
The teams exchanged words as they left the field at the end of regulation time. Perez of Panama received a red card, and El Salvador's Luis Anaya received his second yellow card, leaving both clubs a man down for extra time.
Panama had the best chances in extra time, with Montes stopping a point-blank header by Felipe Baloy.