Panama was only 90 seconds from beating the U.S. and advancing to the World Cup playoffs when Icelander Aron Jóhannsson, who plays for the U.S., scored the last and the winning goal in the second-half stoppage time.
The game ended 3-2 after the U.S. scored not one but two goals in the three minutes stoppage time. Twenty-two-year-old Aron, who made his American debut in August, clinched his first international goal at the 2:40 mimute mark to seal the U.S. win and Panama’s elimination.
Aron commented to the Washington Post that Panama seemed to give up.“They pushed everyone forward. Some of them just stopped playing,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. It seemed like they just gave up.”
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he really felt for Panama. “It shows you how brutal football can be. For one side that’s almost there, and then the other side is back in,” he said. “Now obviously you feel for the people. You feel for an entire country.”
Aron, who plays in the Netherlands first division, made the controversial decision last summer, to play for the U.S., where he was born, instead of Iceland, where he was raised.