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Canada loses to Panama at CONCACAF U-17 championship

Associated Press

4/18/2013 12:46:40 AM

PANAMA CITY -- Canada will have to settle for the bronze-medal match -- and a World Cup berth -- at the CONCACAF under-17 men's soccer championship.

Marco Bustos gave Canada an early lead Wednesday but Panama rallied to win 2-1 in the semifinal.

Bustos scored in the fifth minute after he headed home a cross from Matthew Chow.

But Ismael Diaz volleyed an effort into the top left corner in the 37th minute to tie the game before Ervin Zorrilla put Panama ahead with a shot to the bottom left corner in the 81st minute.

The goal sent the crowd at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez into a frenzy and left Canada with little time to salvage its championship campaign. Over 10,000 fans were in attendance, creating the type of formidable Central American support that is usually reserved for senior internationals.

"It was a great game in a fantastic atmosphere and I am proud of our effort" said coach Sean Fleming.

"We had some chances that we failed to take, particularly in the second half and ultimately they did a better job of finishing their opportunities."

Canada, which had already qualified for a berth at this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup, will play Honduras for bronze on Friday.