Panama draws with Cuba late, advances
Nelson Barahona scored in the 77th minute to give Panama a 1-1 draw with Cuba on Tuesday and send it to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.Text:?
Nelson Barahona scored in the 77th minute to give Panama a 1-1 draw with Cuba on Tuesday and send it to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
It is the second time that Panama has advanced to the "hexagonal" stage since it was first adopted for the 1998 World Cup. The other was for 2006.
The result improved Panama to 11 points in Group C, just behind Honduras, which routed Canada 8-1 in San Pedro Sula. Canada finished third in the group with 10 points and was eliminated.
Alberto Gomez scored Cuba's first goal in nine matches in the 38th minute and the Caribbean islanders appeared headed to ending a 13-match winless streak. Cuba, which already had been eliminated, has not won since beating Nicaragua 2-1 in a friendly in May 2011. It also had not scored since the 1-1 draw with Costa Rica over a year ago, a goalless streak of 791 minutes.
Barahona also scored to give Panama a 1-0 victory over Cuba in Panama City on June 12.
Panama needed a draw to assure itself of advancing, but was in position to advance on goal difference over Canada with Honduras' lopsided victory in the match that was played simultaneously.