Kansas City, Jun 14 : Luis Tejada's stoppage-time equalizer earned Panama a 1-1 draw with Canada and top spot in Group C at the Gold Cup on Tuesday.
Panama has seven points, three clear of Canada. The Canadians needed Guadeloupe to beat the United States in Tuesday's late match to avoid elimination.
“Our goal before the start of this tournament was to come out on top of our group,” said Panama coach Julio Dely Valdes. “Now that we have done that, our goal is to go as far as possible in the Gold Cup and essentially win the whole thing.”
Dwayne De Rosario put Canada ahead with a 62nd-minute penalty, prompting a change in tactics that resulted a flurry of Panama chances.
“I don't think we did a good enough job of keeping the ball and making them work to get it,” Canada coach Stephen Hart said. “They were throwing numbers forward and we just couldn't get a hold of the ball for any period of time. Unfortunately, what happened, happened.”
Tejada eventually scored from close range in a scramble after Gabriel Gomez' shot was blocked. The ball bounced around in front of the goal, and Tejada guided it in for the equalizer.
CONCACAF went back and forth on who scored the goal. Tejada was credited first, then the decision was made to award it to Blas Perez several minutes after the game. Then, midway through the U.S.-Guadeloupe match, tournament officials reversed its decision again.
“We played our game and didn't let up until the final whistle,” Dely Valdes said. AP