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Perez engineers Panama upset win
by Paul Kennedy, June 8th, 2012 4:36PM
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[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING] If the slim margin of the USA's win over Antigua & Barbuda was hard to believe, Mexico's win over Guyana by the same 3-1 scoreline was a shocker, especially after the Tri opened with two goals in the first 15 minutes at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium. Panama produced the first upset of the semifinal stage of World Cup 2014 qualifying in Concacaf with a 2-0 win at Honduras thanks to a pair of goals from FC Dallas forward Blas Perez. El Salvador came back from two goals down to tie Costa Rica, 2-2, on the road. Canada won at Cuba, 1-0, despite losing goalie Lars Hirschfeld to a red card. Guatemala, which hosts the USA on Tuesday, fell at Jamaica, 2-1.

MEXICO-GUYANA (3-1). Carlos Salcido and Giovani Dos Santos scored first-half goals, but that was it for goals from the Mexicans, at least into the Golden Jaguars' goal. Gold Cup champions Mexico. An own goal by John Rodrigues extended Mexico's lead to three goals in the 51st minute, but Mexico's Hector Moreno returned the favor with an own goal of his own nine minutes later.

COSTA RICA-EL SALVADOR (2-2). The Ticos blew a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes on goals by Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio and Joel Campbell. Isidro Gutierrez made it 2-1 in the 23rd minute, and Osael Romero earned El Salvador a share of the points with the tying goal in the 54th minute.

CUBA-CANADA (0-1). Olivier Occean scored  in the 54th minute and Canada held on to beat Cuba in Havana despite losing goalie Lars Hirschfeld to a red card nine minutes later. Hirschfeld was given a straight red card for handling the ball outside the Canadian box. His replacement, Milan Borjan, had little to do in the final half hour.

JAMAICA-GUATEMALA (2-1). Demar Phillips and Toronto FC's Ryan Johnson scored either side of halftime in Kingston, and Jamaica held off Guatemala, which will play the USA on Tuesday, until substitute Dwight Pezzarossi's goal in stoppage time.

HONDURAS-PANAMA (0-2). Goals by Blas Perez in the 64th and 80th minute gave the Canaleros a stunning win and put the pressure on the Catrachos to get a result when they face Canada Tuesday in Toronto.



1 comment
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: June 9, 2012 at 8:49 a.m.
    I got the opportunity to watch Perez train with FC Dallas, and came away totally impressed with his ability. He was also a team builder, and his personality was infectious. Panama have a great chance going forward with this player leading the way.

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