The United States didn't do anything spectacular. They didn't score any remarkable goals. They didn't win by a gigantic margin. They just took Panama apart, piece by piece.
In the ultimate display of superiority, where they knew they were better in every aspect of the match and proved it, the U.S. crushed Panama 2-0 at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday night. They created chances, scored goals and most importantly, were always in control of the match. Panama never really threatened the U.S. goal and if you saw an American sweat, you're lying*. It was just simple, clean, easy domination.
* The fans may have sweat. They tried to drink a lot and tried hard to be be loud. They succeeded in both and we salute them.
The win over Panama caps quite a turnaround for the U.S., who looked out of sorts after a Hex opening loss to Hondurans, buut ever since the Americans have taken 10 of 12 points. The result -- first place in the group.
The Americans had chances right from the start with Fabian Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley all getting chances. But while they were turned away, Jozy Altidore wouldn't in the 36th minute.
Geoff Cameron won the ball in the Americans' defensive half and Bradley led the break the other way. He drew the defense before playing the ball wide for Johnson, who hit a gorgeous cross for Altidore at the far post. All the striker had to do from there was tap it in and the stadium exploded as the U.S. went in front.
Cameron would end up back at the heart of a U.S. goal when he set up their second tally. It came on the other side of halftime when he hit a sublim long ball right onto Eddie Johnson's foot. The Seattle Sounders forward, playing in front of his home crowd, brought the ball down with one touch and expertly curled the ball home with his second and the U.S. rout was on.
The U.S. continued to push and while they never scored again, they were under threat. Tim Howard could have taken a nap as Bradley and Cameron were phenomenal and completely took over the middle of the pitch. The few times Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler were called upon, they were there to clear any attack and the U.S. finished off the 90 minutes like most elite teams do -- at home, on top and so easily that it almost looked like a stroll in the park.