Canada draw 2-2 with Panama



PA SportsTicker

Ante Jazic, of the Los Angeles Galaxy, scored with eight minutes remaining to help the Canada's men's national team salvage a 2-2 draw with Panama in a friendly in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old from Halifax, Nova Scotia, accepted a centering feed from Tam Nsaliwa and unleashed a strike from eight yards out to earn the draw.

Fellow substitute Jaime Peters, of Ipswich Town of the English League Championship, headed in Patrice Bernier's free kick home the 33rd minute to open the scoring for Canada, which dropped a 3-2 decision to five-time world champion Brazil in its initial friendly in Seattle on Saturday.

The Canadians were playing without midfielder Dwayne de Rosario and goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who returned to the Houston Dynamo for their Major League Soccer match against DC United on Wednesday. Vancouver Whitecaps centre back Adrian Cann came on for the second half after replacing Adrian Serioux at halftime.

Luis Tejada converted a penalty kick in the 42nd minute and Jose Luis Garces tallied six minutes later for Panama.

Canada has an all-time record of two wins and three draws against Panama's senior team, the first four results coming in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Canada had last faced Panama in 2000.

Wednesday's contest served as a final tune-up for the Canadians before they challenge St. Vincent & the Grenadines in their first qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup. The teams will play on June 15 in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and June 20 in Montreal, Quebec.

Following the match, head coach Dale Mitchell planned to name his 18-player roster for the Saint Vincent & the Grenadines qualifying series.

Canada remains No. 4 among CONCACAF teams in FIFA's official world rankings for June. Mexico leads the CONCACAF rankings, followed by the United States, Honduras and Canada. Overall, Canada's monthly FIFA ranking jumped up two spots, from 62nd to No. 60.

Canada, which had a top-four finish at last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup, is looking to get back to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986 in Mexico. From within CONCACAF, three or four teams (out of 35 total or 24 remaining) will represent the confederation at South Africa 2010.

Against Brazil on Saturday, Canada had fought back twice to even the score before falling 3-2 to the legendry South Americans.


CANADA

Greg Sutton; Paul Stalteri (Tam Nsaliwa 45'), Adrian Serioux (Adrian Cann 45'), Richard Hastings (Andre Hainault 45'), Mike Klukowski; Issey Nakajima-Farran, Patrice Bernier (Jim Brennan 45'), Atiba Hutchinson, Marcel de Jong (Ante Jazic 45'); Tomasz Radzinski (Jaime Peters 9'), Rob Friend (Ali Gerba 45')