Panama ballboy becomes worldwide hero after hilarious intervention in World Cup game

Panama ballboy becomes worldwide hero after hilarious intervention in World Cup game

Panama sealed the deal with a goal in the 87 minute which saw them leapfrog the U.S. and Honduras on the CONCACAF table to qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation next year.

On a sensational final night of qualifiers, Roman Torres was the hero as the home side defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in Panama City.

Unused substitute José González contributed to his country qualifying for their first World Cup with victory over Costa Rica - for which the President immediately declared a national holiday.

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Panama's first goal against has been dubbed a "ghost goal", after Blas Perez appeared to have been blocked on the line.

When a corner was swung into the box in the 52nd minute, visiting goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton wildly missed his punch and the ball ended up bouncing goalwards off Panama's Gabriel Torres and kissing the post. Four years later, he then led Ecuador to their first World Cup finals. They'd cancelled out Costa Rica's opener with a highly controversial equaliser early in the second half, but, with the United States of America heading to a surprise defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, were set for a fifth-place finish.

That being said, manager Bruce Arena need look no further than his side's own failure against Trinidad and Tobago as a 2-1 loss left them short of the required points tally and on the wrong side of a historic result.

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His 88th-minute victor allowed them to perform the most timely leapfrog, jumping from fifth place up to the third and final CONCACAF automatic qualifying spot, behind Mexico and Costa Rica.

Their president, Juan Carlos Varela, got very excited after their late heroics and made a decision to the mark the national team's achievement by immediately arranging for a national holiday to be held today.

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