Dwayne De Rosario put Canada ahead in the second half, but Panama put the pressure on late and scored the equalizer in extra time.
KANSAS CITY - Oh, Canada was so close to securing a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Canucks looked like they were on their way to advancing in the Gold Cup after Dwayne De Rosario knocked in a penalty kick in the second half against Panama, but Luis Tejada snuck in the equalizer in injury time to end the night with a 1-1 draw at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
"Football is a cruel mistress," Canada coach Stephen Hart said. "It breaks your heart and it's a lie because sometimes the better team doesn't win. We should have done better. We have no excuse."
Canada needed the United States to lose to Guadeloupe in the second game of the doubleheader to stay alive, but the Americans were able to pull out a 1-0 win. Panama, which beat the U.S. last weekend, secured first place in Group C.
"Everybody is devastated about what happened," Hart said. "We just have to pick our heads up going into World Cup qualification and be a little bit more efficient, especially in front of the goal."
De Rosario scored on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute after he was taken down in the box moments earlier. The midfielder went left as goalkeeper Luis Mejia guessed right to put Canada on the board after a back-and-forth first half.
But that was all Canada had before Panama took control.
After initially responding well to Panama's attack, the Canucks faced several nervy moments. Panama had them on their heels and it was only a matter of time before Panama would put one past goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who started for the second straight game.
Perez's strike came in the 91st after the referee added three minutes of penalty time. Perez tiptoed the ball past Borjan from just a few feet away.
"I don't think we did a good enough job of keeping the ball and making them work to get it," Hart said. "They were throwing numbers forward and we just couldn't get hold of the ball for any length of time, any period of time. Unfortunately, that happened."
De Rosario, who was named the Miller Lite Man of the Match, has two goals in the tournament. The disappointed player refused to talk to the media before heading out of the stadium.
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