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KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Panama scored in the first minute of injury time to draw 1-1 draw with Canada on Tuesday, assuring itself of the Group C title at the Gold Cup and all but ending the Maple Leafs chances.
Canada appeared to be headed to victory after Dwayne De Rosario converted a penalty kick in the 62nd minute. But Panama's late surge resulted in a goalmouth scramble where Anibal Godoy put a ball into Canadian keeper Milan Borjan's feet and second-half sub Luis Tejada helped it across the line.
The result sent Panama to a quarterfinal meeting against El Salvador on Sunday in Washington, while Canada was eliminated with the United States victory over Guadeloupe in the late match of Tuesday's doubleheader to advance.
"It was obviously a great result," Panama manager Julio Dely Valdes said. "It was our goal from the beginning to play the way we did. We fought hard until the end, which I am proud of."
Dely Valdés fielded a lineup of mostly substitutes — only five starters were among the starting lineup that beat the United States, and regulars Amílcar Henriquez, Nelson Barahona and regular keeper Jaime Penedo did not dress for the match.
"My players knew how we were going to play tactically before the game," Dely Valdes said. "They understood why I made some changes and why I put certain players in for this game."
Canada created but couldn't finish some early chances, while the Panamanians appeared content to play conservatively and rely on captain Felipe Baloy and fellow center back Adolfo Machado to spoil the Canadians' efforts in the final third.
"I thought today it was probably our best game, especially in the first half," Canada coach Stephen Hart. "If you don't score, then you don't win. It's as simple as that."
The North Americans had its first opportunity less than four minutes after the opening kickoff when Simeon Jackson — deployed as a lone forward — took a pass down the right side from Julian de Guzman and dribbled past Baloy and left back Luis Henríquez. But the Norwich City striker shot high over Luis Mejía's goal.
Stephen Hart had his wings change sides after 20 minutes with De Rosario moving wide left in the place of Josh Simpson, who pushed wide right. But Canada still struggled to create seriously dangerous chances despite some decent flank play.
Canada threatened in the 29th minute when de Guzman was on the end of a quick exchange of passes between Nik Ledgerwood and De Rosario, but the Toronto FC midfielder's shot was swatted away by Mejía. Four minutes later, Simpson hit De Rosario breaking in from the left, but the New York Red Bulls midfielder hit a drive into the side netting.
The Canadians' finally scored 15 minutes into the second half when De Rosario was pushed from behind in the box by Panama midfielder Eybir Bonaga while trying to head Will Johnson's centering cross. Referee Walter Pérez pointed to the spot, and De Rosario converted for his second penalty in as many games.
Canada scored only two goals in the first round of the Gold Cup, both on De Rosario penalties.
"You create the chances and we have to be a lot more composed," Hart said. "We have to connect a little more on our finishing. We weren't. We had three very good opportunities in the first half. I think any other time or any other striker would probably put them away. But we didn't. What can I say?"
De Rosario's goal was the 17th of his international career and moved him past Alex Bunbury for third-most in Canadian national team history.
Canada maintained pressure in the second half and held possession, but were unable to add to their lead despite a volley in the 77th minute. Panama nearly equalized in the 86th when Baloy's header off a corner flew just over Milan Borjan's goal, but Canada's defense held until the late tally.