Blas Perez and Luis Tejada scored first-half goals and Panama won 3-2 over Guadeloupe in the opening game of a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader Tuesday.
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Brice Jovial scored twice for Guadeloupe after entering the game at halftime.
The United States and Canada, the other members of Group C, played in the second game.
Luis Henriquez nearly gave the Panamanians a spectacular lead in the ninth minute, but his shot from 55 yards sailed just over the bar.
Perez, though, made it 1-0 in the 22nd minute, knocking a loose ball past goalkeeper Franck Grandel from 6 yards. Two minutes later, Tejada beat two defenders in the box and side-footed the ball into the corner.
Things got worse for Guadeloupe before halftime when Michael Tacalfred was shown a straight red card for a foul on Henriquez.
Panama had a third goal called back in the opening seconds of the second half, but made it 3-0 on Gabriel Gomez’s penalty kick in the 57th minute.
Guadeloupe got on the board in the 63rd when Jovial took advantage of a poor defensive header at the edge of the box. Panama’s Jaime Penedo made the original save, but Jovial scored on the rebound.
Jovial’s sliding tap-in of Rochard Socrier’s cross made it 3-2 with 18 minutes left, but Panama held on.
Panama’s Adolfo Machado was taken from the stadium in an ambulance after suffering an apparent head injury in a collision late in the game.