Saed Diaz scored the tiebreaking goal in the 59th minute as Panama topped Canada 2-1 on Tuesday in group play at the CONCACAF men’s under-20 championships.
The goal was Diaz’s second of the game and came four minutes after Canada had tied the match on a shot from Noble Okello.
Canadian midfielder Michael Baldisimo received a red card in the 24th minute while Panama’s Jorge Mendez accumulated a red in the 87th minute with his second yellow card of the match.
It was Canada’s first loss in three preliminary-round games at the tournament, which serves as a regional qualifier for next year’s U-20 World Cup. The Canadians opened with wins over Dominica and Guadeloupe.
Canada, ranked No. 11, is second in Group D with six points. No. 4 Panama leads the way with nine points through three games.
Canada continues group play Thursday against No. 15 St. Kitts-Nevis.
The Canadians have failed to qualify for the past five U-20 World Cups. They last appeared at the tournament in 2007 as the host country, exiting after losing all three preliminary-round matches.
Canada qualified in 1979, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2005. The program’s best showing came in 2003 when it lost 2-1 in the quarter-final to Spain on a golden goal.
The field for the newly expanded CONCACAF U20 tournament is divided into six groups, with the six group winners advancing to a second round-robin stage with two groups of three teams. The top two from the two groups will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with the two group winners playing for the North and Central America and Caribbean crown.