Orlando (Florida), June 7 (IANS) Panama striker Blas Perez scored twice in their 2-1 win against Bolivia in a Group D match of the Copa America Centenario football tournament.
It was Panama’s first-ever Copa America match, played here on Monday.
Panama looked to secure the three points after leading 1-0 into the second half, but Bolivia tied the game in the 54th minute.
Juan Carlos Arce drove in a low shot to score for Bolivia. It was Arce’s third goal in his last four games for his country.
Just when it seemed a draw was certain, Perez took a cross from Abdiel Arroyo and slotted home the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Panama had more chances to score than Bolivia. Panama’s Luis Tejada missed a chance to give his team the lead when his shot from close range went over the goal in the 85th minute.
Panama took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Perez put in a sliding kick off a pass from midfielder Alberto Quintero in the 11th minute.
With the victory, Panama became just the fourth team in Copa America’s history to win on debut at the tournament and first since Paraguay in 1921.
Group D action continues Friday when Panama faces Argentina in Chicago and Bolivia meets Chile in Foxborough.