By 90Min
October 11, 2017

The atmosphere at the end of Panama's 2-1 win over Costa Rica in the Estadio Rommel Fernández on Tuesday night epitomises passion within football - as the home nation qualified for their first ever World Cup finals.


In need of a win in order to finish above Honduras (who had just beaten Mexico) on goal difference, Panama suffered an early setback when Johan Venegas sent the already qualified Costa Rica 1-0 up on 36 minutes. After equalising just after the second half kicked off, a tense half hour of football awaited the onlooking Panama fans.


That was, until Roman Torres snatched an 88th minute winner to send his country to international football's biggest competition...

Pure passion.

A wonderful half volley that kissed the crossbar on the way in sent the stadium into raptures - the penny dropping that Panama fans would watch their country compete in the World Cup for the very first time in history.

Cue the flares, the eruption of the fans, the swarming from teammates; and, of course, the constant repetition of 'goal' from the over-excited Panamanian commentator.

However, the revelation of Panama's qualification has not sat well with the Unites States - who have failed to qualify for the World Cup as a result of Panama's glorious victory.

The USMNT will feel aggrieved at Panama's first goal, dubbed 'the phantom goal', as it appeared to not even cross the line when 'scored' - yet was still given by the referee.

In what can only be described as a commotion in the box in the build up to the goal; the ball bounced off Gabriel Torres' rear end from a corner and struck the inside of the far post before being met by the falling Blas Perez's shoulder - only to rest on the line and be cleared away.

Sometimes you need some luck, though.

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