Panama’s national soccer team took a big step forward towards its dream of playing in the Rio World Cup in 2014 when it defeated Canada for the first time on Tuesday September 12.
100th anniversary of the first ship sailing through the US built seventh wonder of the world.
But on Tuesday, September 11 fans across the country mirrored Henry Ford’s “history in bunk” sentiments as Rolando Blackburn and Blas Perez scored the goals leading to a 2-0 defeat of Canada, the first ever victory over a country soon to be a free trade partner.
The game at Rommel Fernandez stadium in Panama Cityu, before 20,000 cheering fans, including President Ricardo Martinelli and cabinet ministers sell out crowd put the team back on top of the table in the third stage of CONCACAF qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil..
The win ended a seven game losing streak against the Canadians, five of them en route to a World Cup, and moved Panama and coach Julio Dely Valdes back into the lead in Group C, with nine points, while Honduras and Canada share second place with seven. Cuba, lost Tuesday to Honduras and remains winless.
The game was suspended for 15 minutes when, si minutes into the game a light tower went out leaving the Canadian goal in darkness. Canadian fans might have preferred it that way as for most of the first half the inspired Panamanians used the lighted nets for target practice.
A corner kick in the 23rd minute of play was neatly headed in by Blackburn ending the the curse that in two previous qualifying matches (1996 and 2000) of no scores against Canada,.
The national team will now have a few weeks of rest and then prepare themselves for their next meeting, at home on Oct. 12 with Honduras and four days later against Cuba in Havana.
With nine points Dely Valdes and his team have one foot in the next round and would rnedd three more to seal a spot.