Blas Perez thrives in Panama’s opener
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.
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.