Panama turned around a 3-1 half-time deficit to run out 8-3 winners in Group B’s first encounter at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012.
Both teams were making their debuts in this competition and it was the Africans who started the brightest, taking the initiative from the beginning thanks to the prompting of their inspirational captain Yahya Baya. Indeed, it was his strong left-footed shot which was eventually turned in by Yahya Jabrane on the seventh minute to give his side the lead.
Morocco went 2-0 up in a fortunate manner five minutes later when Fernando Mena’s clearance rebounded off Aziz Derrou and bouncing straight into the net. Adil Habil made it three without reply through a penalty kick before Carlos Perez gave his side some hope seconds before half-time.
The goal gave his side the boost they needed. Panama were quick off the blocks following the restart. Miguel Lasso began the rout just 90 seconds after the interval. Less than a minute later, Mena restored parity with a close range finish.
From then on, it was a one-sided encounter which saw Panama use their pace to excellent advantage. Lasso, Mena, Apolinar Galvez, Oscar Hinks and Claudio Goodridge all profited from counter attacks to see the side from CONCACAF record a historic win.
"We knew, that it would be difficult to play against Panama. They are better than us, and they were well prepared. We wanted to hold the result but our players lack experience. But the first half showed us that we are a good team, and we will go into the next two games without a complex," Hicham Dguig, Morocco coach .
"In the first half my team did not respond to the tactics we discussed before the match, and the Morocco keeper was in excellent form. But we made a little adjustment at half-time and that enabled us to use our counter-attacks to win this game," Agustin Campuzano, Panama coach.