Panama qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever last night, and it sparked incredible scenes.
USA's shock 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, coupled with Panama's 88th minute winner from Roman Torres to beat Costa Rica, meant the team from Central America finished third in the North/Central American/Carribbean qualifying and have booked their place in Russia.
And though Torres, the centre-back who plays for Seattle Sounders in the MLS, was the match-winner, the true hero was the substitute, who, when the ball went out of play in the last minute, and Costa Rica were looking to take the throw-in quickly and get the ball back into play, promptly raced up the touchline and punted the ball away.
The talk from Twitter has been suggesting that it was a ball boy who was responsible for the top-tier shithousery, but as you can see in the above clip, it was in fact a Panama player, wearing his bib over the top of his red strip. Being honest though, it probably makes it even better that it was a player who took it upon himself to leather the ball into the stands and kill a bit of time, rather than a ball boy.
What an absolute top bloke. At the time of writing, we've been unable to come across his name (mainly due to everyone praising a ball boy even though it wasn't) but he deserves all of the plaudits in the world.
The late heroics in Panama City mean for the first time since 1986, the United States will not be taking part in a World Cup. It all looked rosy for Bruce Arena's side when Borussia Dortmund talent Christian Pulisic inspired them to a 4-0 win over Panama on Friday, but last night's dreadful display and result against Trinidad and Tobago, the worst team in the group, sees them miss out on a trip to Russia when next summer rolls around.
However, last night's action, and Panama realising their World Cup dream and pipping the mighty USA wasn't without controversy. That's because, their equaliser in the 52nd was the latest 'ghost goal' to have been allowed in the game of football.
When a corner was swung in, visiting goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton wildly missed his punch and the ball ended up bouncing goalwards off Panama's Gabriel Torres and kissed the post. Striker Blas Perez, while being clearly fouled, attempted to bundle the ball over the line, but despite the slightest of touches, the ball did not cross the line.Yet, the referee, Walter Lopez, somehow awarded a goal, which was credited to G.Torres.