Panama, Canada play to 0-0 tie in Gold Cup

Panama missed a chance to finish group play with a perfect

record, tying winless 0-0 Sunday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Panama (2-0-1, Group A) had already secured a berth in the

quarterfinals with wins over Mexico and Martinique. Panama’s

Gabriel Torres, who had three goals in the victories, rested

against Canada.

”We had opportunities. We just didn’t make goals,” Panama

coach Julio Dely Valdes said. ”I’m very happy with it. It has

given us confidence so we can count on the players on the field in

upcoming games.”

Canada was eliminated after failing to score a goal in any of

its three games, finishing 0-2-1.

”We have to be more realistic in our expectations,” Canada

coach Colin Miller said. ”We qualified for the World Cup in 1986,

I was part of that squad, and those guys were seasoned pros in

many, many ways. The problem that Canada has, and you saw it again

today, is in the attacking third. We’re almost running out of ideas

when we get into the attacking third while other countries tend to

look dangerous.”

Panama had several solid scoring chances.

Marcos Sanchez took a shot from 12 yards out in the opening

minutes but his kick sailed high and wide of the net.

At the 48-minute mark, Panama’s Jairo Jimenez fired a kick from

about 30 yards away that was heading straight for the net before

goalie Milan Borjan made a leaping save, deflecting the ball above

the crossbar.

Jimenez had another opportunity in the late going but his kick

sailed over the net.

”We played these three games with a lot of desire,” Panama

captain Blas Perez said. ”We’ve got a lot of motivation and we’ll

see what happens coming up in the quarterfinals.”

Canada was hit by injuries to several key players, leading the

team to feature a more youthful roster during the tournament.

”I know this is a results business but where we’re at in terms

of the redevelopment phase we’re in, we’ve had pretty nice

successes,” Miller said. ”We’ve given our players opportunities

that they may not have had with their clubs.”