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Canada eliminated from CONCACAF Gold Cup

Canada's Ashtone Morgan, foreground, tries to shoot the ball while covered by, from back left, Panama's Harold Cummings, Jairo Jimenez and Roberto Chen in the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match, July 14, 2013. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/David Zalubowski

Canada was eliminated from the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday after scoreless draw against Panama in both teams’ final game of the preliminary round.

Neither side created much in the way of chances in a game that Canada had to win in order to have any chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

Canada exits the tournament having not scored a goal after losses to Martinique and Mexico preceded Sunday’s result.

Canada was lucky to have not gone a goal down in the 18th minute when defender Ashtone Morgan failed to clear a Panamanian cross. The ball fell to Marcos Sanchez, who had time and space, but his curling right-footed effort went wide.

The Canadians had their best chance of the half 10 minutes later when Marcel de Jong’s corner kick found defender David Edgar, but he was unable to make clean contact with his head.

Canada gifted Panama another opportunity in the 40th minute when Jairo Jimenez swung in a free kick that Pedro Pacheco couldn’t clear properly. The ball fell to Blas Perez, but his header missed the target.

Panama controlled possession early in the second half but it was Morgan again who gave Panama a chance in the 48th minute when he headed the ball right to Jimenez. He let a long-range shot go that forced Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan to make a diving save to his right.

As the second half progressed, Canada controlled good portions of the game but couldn’t find the decisive goal that would have kept their hopes of moving onto the quarter-finals alive.

Canada had an appeal for a penalty late on when Marcus Haber went down in Panama’s 18-yard box and although there was clear contact, no call was given.

The game didn’t mean anything to Panama, which had already qualified for the next round after wins over Mexico and Martinique.