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Panama opens WCQ campaign with win
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Action from the World Cup qualifier between host Jamaica and visiting Panama (red jersey) on November 13, 2015, in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: LMA Action Photography)

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Panama scored a goal in each half to earn a 2-0 win over host Jamaica in a World Cup Qualifying, fourth-round encounter on Friday at the National Stadium.

The loss was Jamaica’s second straight at home in the competition following a 3-2 setback to Nicaragua in September, while the Panamanians were making their debut after receiving byes in the first three rounds of CONCACAF play.

Armando Cooper was the standout performer on the evening, dictating the Central Americans’ attack and netting the first goal in the 43rd minute. He brilliantly curled a right-footed free kick from the top-left corner of penalty area over goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr and under the crossbar.

Seven minutes into the second half, Panama doubled its lead thanks to confusion in the Reggae Boyz’s box. Alberto Quintero delivered a harmless looking cross from the left towards the edge of the six-yard box, where a triangle of Jamaican defenders and Kerr were stationed. With Canalero forward Blas Perez making a move for the ball, Wes Morgan – while facing the net – stuck out his left foot and appeared to apply the slightest of touches before it bounced over a prone Kerr for an own-goal.

Jamaica will look to get its first Group B points on Tuesday with a visit to Haiti, while Panama hosts Costa Rica the same day in a pair of battles pitting regional-rivals against each other.

 

 
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