Rapids Designated Player Gabriel Torres scored an impressive goal as the Panamanian National Team came from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw in Honduras, keeping the team in contention to earn a spot at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Panama currently sits in fourth place in the six-team CONCACAF qualifying group with eight points, tied on points with fifth-place Mexico and three points behind Honduras. The top three teams in the group will automatically qualify for Brazil, with the fourth place team playing a home-and-home series against New Zealand for a spot in the tournament.
Honduras scored first in the match through Carlos Costly to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, but Torres opened his bag of tricks to tie the game at one in the 50th minute. As a cross came in from the left side, Torres – who was close to the near post and almost at the end line – flicked the ball with the outside of his foot and floated it over the Honduran goalkeeper.
Just ten minutes later, Honduras took the lead again, but Panama came up with a dramatic, 90th minute goal to tie the game and keep the team level with Mexico in the standings. Torres was credited with the second goal by many media outlets, though Panama’s official website cites Roberto Chen as having scored the equalizer.
With just two World Cup qualifiers left, Panama’s next match may be the decider, as the team visits Estadio Azteca to face Mexico on October 11. The final game of the cycle will be against the already-qualified United States, in Panama City on October 15.