The veteran Vancouver Whitecaps forward scored early and late to lift Panama to a first Copa America victory.
Blas Perez scored early and late to lead Panama to a first Copa America win, a 2-1 triumph over Bolivia Monday night at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Perez, the 35-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps forward, scored in the 11th and 87th minutes, bookending a goal by Bolivia's Juan Carlos Arce shortly into the second half.
Perez capped an opening flurry of action by running onto Alberto Quintero's cross and scoring with a sliding finish. Arce rifled home after a Bolivia free kick to pull Bolivia equal, but Perez netted his second in the dying moments to seize the three key points. Substitute Abdiel Arroyo showed great strength to fend off a defender and carry down the right channel. With goalkeeper Carlos Lampe pulled out of position, he found Perez in the center of the box, and he calmly finished into an empty net.
Highlights of the goals are below:
Panama turns its focus to Argentina in its next Group D match, while Bolivia will play Chile on June 10.