ORLANDO (FLORIDA), June 7: Panama striker Blas Perez scored twice in their 2-1 win against Bolivia in a Group D match of the Copa America Centenario football tournament.
It was Panama�s first-ever Copa America match, played here on Monday.
Panama looked to secure the three points after leading 1-0 into the second half, but Bolivia tied the game in the 54th minute.
Juan Carlos Arce drove in a low shot to score for Bolivia. It was Arce�s third goal in his last four games for his country.
Just when it seemed a draw was certain, Perez took a cross from Abdiel Arroyo and slotted home the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Panama had more chances to score than Bolivia. Panama�s Luis Tejada missed a chance to give his team the lead when his shot from close range went over the goal in the 85th minute. Panama took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Perez put in a sliding kick off a pass from midfielder Alberto Quintero in the 11th minute.
With the victory, Panama became just the fourth team in Copa America�s history to win on debut at the tournament and first since Paraguay in 1921.
Group D action continues Friday when Panama faces Argentina in Chicago and Bolivia meets Chile in Foxborough. � IANS