Curacao ousted by Panama
Published on 16 June 2021
Juninho Bacuna (left) of Curacao and Harold Cummings of Panama battle for the possession in the second leg of their second round series on June 15 2021, at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao. (Photo courtesy of FEPAFUT)
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao (June 15, 2021)—A goalless encounter in Curacao in the second match of the home-and-away second round of World Cup Qualifiers left Patrick Kluivert’s consoling themselves while Panama kept their homes alive to advance to the next round.
It was an evenly matched first half with both teams lacking what it took to take the lead into the dressing room. Long-range shots and failure to keep possession dogged both teams and left the home crowd flat.
Panama dominated the first 10 minutes as they tried to force the issue to get the very important away goal. Curacao seemed to lack urgency and were often pushed by the fans.
There was deafening silence in the 56th minute when Referee Marco Ortiz blew his whistle and pointed to the spot after judging that Michael Maria had handled a cross in his own box.
Edgar Bárcenas was given the task but saw his shot saved by Columbus Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room, who guessed right to make a big save for his country.
Bárcenas tried to make the rebound count but was beaten to it and eventually cleared for a corner kick.
Room gave his team some confidence, and they began to pressure the Panamanians with Bacuna leading the lines.
Curacao tried all that they could but Panama held their lines to end with a nil-all draw which when coupled with their first leg win at the weekend was good enough to send them to the next round.