After Panama’s 2-1 win over the United States, the narrative for the Group C Concacaf teams at Copa America has been flipped on its head. Check out the best facts, stats and Opta data with our Panama vs United States stats page.

The United States were defeated 2-1 by Panama in a thrilling Copa America encounter on Thursday.

A frantic opening paved the way for an exhilarating, blood-and-thunder match in which both teams had a player sent off. The first 26 minutes in Atlanta saw the USA have a goal disallowed, Timothy Weah sent off and Folarin Balogun score a stunner before César Blackman equalised.

With the match seemingly ebbing towards a draw, Ricardo Pepi’s 81st-minute miss sparked a frenetic finale, with José Fajardo netting in the 83rd minute and Panama holding firm despite Adalberto Carrasquilla’s red card.

Panama 2-1 USA Copa America xG map

Victory takes Panama level on three points with the Copa America hosts, who are in a precarious position ahead of facing Group C favourites Uruguay in their final group match. Panama face Bolivia, the lowest-ranked team at the tournament in the FIFA World Rankings.

A rowdy crowd was almost silenced inside the first two minutes when Yoel Bárcenas’ stunning bicycle kick flashed over the crossbar, but the home fans were soon celebrating when Weston McKennie slammed in, only for the goal to be disallowed after a lengthy VAR review for Tim Ream moving from an offside position to assist the finish. 

There was further VAR frustration to come for the USA, as they were reduced to 10 men when Weah saw a yellow card upgraded to a straight red after he lashed out at Amir Murillo.

That frustration turned to elation in the 22nd minute as Balogun brilliantly fired in from the edge of the box, his left-footed strike cannoning in off the inside of the right-hand upright for his second goal of the tournament.

It was a lead that lasted only four minutes – Blackman drilling into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards out to restore parity.

VAR came to the USA’s rescue just after the hour when referee Iván Barton overturned his decision to award Panama a penalty after Cameron Carter-Vickers lunged in on Fajardo.

Balogun went close to a sensational second soon after, but the best chance of the second half fell to his replacement Pepi, whose close-range header was kept out by Orlando Mosquera.

Pepi was immediately made to pay, with Fajardo making no mistake as he lashed home from close range, and even though Carrasquilla saw red, Panama sealed a memorable victory that throws Group C wide open.

Pepi Pays the Price

Pepi has had to settle for a substitute role with Balogun the first choice, but that has not stopped him having chances. In fact, he has accumulated more expected goals (2.27) than any other player in the tournament so far with tonight’s chance just the latest of a series of opportunities from inside the six-yard box.

Ricardo Pepi Copa America xG map

Yet the youngster, who has played just 43 minutes, has failed to convert any of his seven shots, while the other four players in the top five for xG at this edition of the Copa have all scored at least once.

McKennie did brilliantly to tee Pepi up for the USA’s big moment in the second half, but the PSV striker fluffed his lines.

In contrast, Balogun showed just how good he can be – his goal, his second of the tournament, came on a left-footed one-time strike from outside the box. The Stars and Stripes might well need their first-choice forward to deliver that kind of quality again if they are to progress.

Panama Worthy Winners

Panama came out on top on penalties against the USA in the Gold Cup last year, but Thomas Christiansen’s team were well worth their victory in regulation time on this occasion.

The USA did continue their run of scoring at least one goal when facing Panama – they have now done that in 19 of the last 20 meetings – but despite the hosts having a higher xG (1.11 to 0.76), Panama had the cutting edge when it mattered.

They had to play dirty at times, committing 19 fouls to the USA’s four, and Gregg Berhalter may well point to that, but Panama were smarter with their physicality and now face Bolivia next, a great chance of getting out of the group.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the Panama vs United States stats from their Copa America 2024 Group C clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own post-match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

Panama vs United States: Post-Match Facts

  • Folarin Balogun is the second player from the United States to score in consecutive CONMEBOL Copa America matches, following Clint Dempsey, who scored in three consecutive games against Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Ecuador in 2016.
  • Panama recorded 74% possession against the United States, the highest possession percentage for a Concacaf team (8th overall) in a CONMEBOL Copa America match since Opta began tracking this data in 2011.
  • This was the first-ever defeat for the United States against a Concacaf team in their history in CONMEBOL Copa America (W1 D1).
  • José Fajardo is the second Panamanian player to score in the CONMEBOL Copa America after starting the match as a substitute, following Abdiel Arroyo against Chile in the 2016 edition.
  • Panama allowed only six shots from the United States in this match, setting a new low for shots conceded in a CONMEBOL Copa America game. Their previous lowest was 12 shots, against Bolivia and Argentina in 2016.
  • Two of the four defeats that the United States has suffered as hosts in major tournaments were against Panama: in the 2011 Gold Cup and the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America. The other two were against Romania in the 1994 World Cup and against Colombia in the 2015 CONMEBOL Copa América.
  • Panama recorded their second victory in the CONMEBOL Copa America after five matches in the tournament (L3). Among CONCACAF teams, only Honduras reached that number of wins in fewer matches (4 games).
  • Panama has lost only one of its last four non-friendly matches against the United States (W2 D1). This comes after failing to win any of their previous 10 encounters in such games (D4 L6).

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