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Blas Perez thrives in Panama’s opener

Panama's Blas Perez celebrates his game-winning goal against Bolivia during the second half of a Copa America group D match on June 6.
Panama’s Blas Perez celebrates his game-winning goal against Bolivia during the second half of a Copa America group D match on June 6.
(John Raoux / Associated Press)

Blas Perez scored two goals, including the winner in the 87th minute, and Panama beat Bolivia, 2-1, on a rainy Monday night in a Group D Copa America opener.

Abdiel Arroyo beat a defender at the edge of the 18-yard box, pulling out goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.

Arroyo found a trailing Perez in front of an empty net.

Panama became the first non-CONMEBOL team to win its Copa America debut.

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Perez opened the scoring in the 11th minute.

After forcing a turnover deep in Bolivia territory, Alberto Quintero ran down a through ball near the goal line, fed a cross in front of the net and Perez made a sliding finish.

Juan Carlos Arce tied it, 1-1, in the 54th minute.

A long free kick was deflected inside the six-yard box and an open Arce powered it into the net.


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