Panama cruises past Martinique to reach Gold Cup quarterfinals

Abdiel Arroyo celebrates his goal for Panama.
Abdiel Arroyo celebrates his goal for Panama.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Panama booked its place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Martinique in Cleveland on Saturday.

Michael Murillo, Abdiel Arroyo and Gabriel Torres had the goals as the Central American nation finished second in Group B behind the United States on the goals scored tiebreaker.

Panama's result, played before the U.S. kicked off, also ensured the tournament hosts, Mexico and Jamaica advanced to the knockout stage. Costa Rica, Canada and Honduras all advanced from Group A on Friday.

The breakthrough for Panama came just before halftime following a corner that was played short, as the New York Red Bulls' Murillo headed in a cross from New York City FC's Miguel Camargo.

Arroyo doubled the lead on the hour mark following another corner, and seven minutes later Torres made sure of the win.

Martinique had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 82nd minute, but Jean-Manuel Nedra and Yann Thimon both rattled the crossbar within a matter of seconds.

Panama was set to win the group until the U.S. found a late third goal to beat Nicaragua 3-0 in the late game on Saturday.

Panama will now face Costa Rica in the quarterfinals on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Martinique can still advance as the third-placed team in Group B if El Salvador loses to Jamaica by two goals or more and Mexico avoids a lopsided defeat to Curacao on Sunday.