De Rosario's 77th minute goal gave Canada a precious win against Panama, one which brings the Reds to the top of Group C of the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.Having tied Honduras at home in its last qualification game, it was imperative for Canada to beat Panama at BMO Field in Toronto on Friday.
And that's exactly what it did.
Scarborough native Dwayne De Rosario's goal in the 77th minute was the difference on the night and the three points give the Reds considerable hope of making the final Hexagonal stage of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.
The first half was devoid of many scoring chances, though Canada controlled the game well. The Reds came close to scoring in the 36th minute when defender Mckenna hit the post after Will Johnson had whipped in a good cross from the right flank.
After a cautious and, for the most part, lethargic first 45 minutes, Panama was significantly more aggressive in the second half and came close in the 51st minute when Alberto Quintero's header was kept out well by Lars Hirschfield.
Panama's greater willingness to get forward did, however, open the door a little more for Canada's offense and Olivier Occean almost brought Canada ahead in the 59th minute when his volley from the top of the box just went wide of goal.
The more the second half wore on, the more scrappy the game became and Panama began to stifle Canada's attack. But the home side eventually found the all important go-ahead goal in the 77th minute. Midfielder Atiba Hutchinson hastly took a free kick on the edge of Panama's box and with the Panama defense completely caught off guard, Dwayne De Rosario scored with an easy tap-in.
Panama tried to respond and almost found the equalizer in the 84th minute when Torres' point-blank shot went wide of Herschfield's goal, but Canada ultimately held on for the win.
The win puts Canada in first place in the group with seven points. Panama is in second with six. The good news for Panama is that it will immediately have a chance to avenge the loss and retake first place when it hosts Canada on Tuesday.
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