Concacaf Gold Cup Tournament Honduras vs Panama


Written by Donald Tolbert- SFL Sports Journalist

Houston's diversity was on full display Saturday. Shout out to all the fans who came out to support their countries. You came, you saw, and supported loudly. The atmosphere was a tone setter for soccer support in Texas. We saw the fans follow suite in Dallas Sunday night. 

The international diversity of Houston is not to be matched though. Moments like this past Saturday only add to the claim as the most diverse city in the country. It also has to add to the lure of more international events of this kind. Concacaf seems to be ahead of the curve in recognizing this. They continue to put on great events in this city. The matches themselves played out like a ppy title fight event. With Qatar vs Grenada being the under card with more excitement  than expected. Leaving Honduras vs Panama to be the title fight that lived up to the hype. 

Early on in the first match. You could see Qatar had a talent advantage. However Grenada was not to roll over for them. · After two early goals by Hatem and Afif the Grenada defense held strong and put some pressure on Qatar's defense. It was the goal off the corner kick right before the half by Muntari off the pass from Afif that broke Grenada spirit. The final goal was indicative of the talent gap between the two teams and capped a dominant match by Qatar. Then the title fight portion of the ppv begin. You could tell the difference in the atmosphere immediately. It was clear that Honduras was the team of choice by the new arrivals. It was probably 90% Honduras to 10% Panama support and the seats were packed. Now don't get it twisted that Panama 10% were not to be silenced. They would make their presence felt starting with the pregame chants. That environment was a key part to the beauty of this match. I don't speak Panamanian or Honduran, but I am fluent in energy and it was off the charts for this match. 

It looked as if the scoring would start early with Quioto sending a laser through the back of the net in the 10th min, but we would have to wait until the 21st min for his first goal to count. Panama would strike right back in the 31st min off a pk from Davis due to a handball. Then Panama wouldn't relent until they took the lead in bonus time of the first half. It was a goal by Yanis that introduced the magic of sports ability to humble you. The Honduras faithful felt the reality that they could loose the match. The Panama fans were basking in the potential upset and letting the Honduras fans know it. 

Then the 61st min came and a strike from Lopez evened the match. That gave the Honduras fans the life they needed. Less then 5 minutes later Quioto would show up again on a run out like a NFL wide receiver and lazer past the goalie one on one. That was the deal dealer. The match was epic and has been called the best of the Gold Cup yet by some. Shout out to Houston for putting on a helluva display for the nation. Shout out to Concacaf and BBVA for making it happen. 

PhotoCredit: B. Keith Crear III

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