2016 Copa América, Group Stage
  • Blas Pérez (11', 87')
  • Juan Arce (54')

Panama edge Bolivia in Group D opener thanks to Blas Perez brace

Blas Perez hit the winner three minutes from time as Panama launched their first-ever Copa American campaign with a 2-1 Group D victory over Bolivia.

Perez gave Panama an 11th-minute lead before Juan Carlos Arce levelled things up nine minutes after the interval in Orlando.

But just as it looked as those it was going to end up all square, Perez rifled home his second of the evening to secure all three points.

Panama started brightly and went ahead in the 11th minute when Alberto Quintero picked out Perez and he made no mistake in putting the ball past Carlos Lampe.

La Verde though hauled themselves level in 54th minute when a long free-kick from the right from Martin Smedberg-Dalence was deflected into the path of Arce by defender Harold Cummings and he rifled home.

Luis Tejada then wasted a golden opportunity to win the game with five minutes remaining, firing high and wide after being gifted acres of space in the Panama box.

And Tejada was made to pay just two minutes later when Perez bagged his second goal of the game, latching onto a neat cut back from Abdiel Arroyo to pick his spot and drive home the winner.

Copa America Standings