Clint Dempsey, who scored the decisive goal that sent the United States into semifinals, was again brilliant Wednesday, when he scored the winning goal in the second half of a 1-0 victory over Panama.
The triumph put the Americans in the final of the Gold Cup Saturday against defending champion Mexico, which routed Honduras 2-0 in Wednesday's other semifinal.
It will mark the third straight time the U.S. and Mexico will collide in the tournament finale.
Wednesday's win was a sweet vindication for the United States, which was stunned by the Panama side during group play.
The Panamanians were again poised for another upset until the 77th minute, when Dempsey drew first blood by pounding home the game-winner with Landon Donovan and Freddie Adu in the mix.
Adu, in his first action of the tournament, started the move with the ball from midfield which eventually came into the possession of Donovan, who came off the bench in the second half.
Donovan then maneuvered the ball before unleashing a thundering low cross towards the far post to Dempsey, who tipped it from a few yards out for the lead and the victory.
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