Well, Colin Miller's interim reign ended with a whimper in Denver as Canada's seeming lack of desperation matched their overall lack of quality in a dull, dull game against what was to all intents and purposes a B team from Panama who had already qualified and only needed a tie to guarantee themselves first place in the group.
Canada of course needed a win and then some help, and had made a few changes to their starting lineup, Pedro Pacheco replaced Samuel Piette who'd had an ineffective tournament, alongside Julian de Guzman. In the attacking midfield positions, Kyle Bekker and Jonathan Osorio kept their places and were joined by Marcel de Jong, pushed up to the left wing with Ashtone Morgan taking his left back spot, meaning all 4 TFC players started the game. Marcus Haber was judged fit enough to go agaian and would play the target man for the inevitable longer balls aimed at him, though the ref clearly didn't like that tactic, calling fouls practically every time Haber went up for a challenge.
Panama very rarely pushed Canada or created that many chances, but didn't really have to, the Canadian defence seemed quite willing to gift them the opportunities they need, Ashtone Morgan being the main villain in that respect, his 'own assist' blushes saved by some poor finishing from Blas Perez and co up front for Panama.
If Panama's lack of ambition was explainable, Canada really didn't play with the fire you might expect in a must win game. There were some decent passages of play, some nice passing around defence and midfield but always when things got to the opposition box, the cutting edge was lacking. In a way that's fair as they were of course missing many of their more talented players, but there was also very little pressure applied, very little urgency shown. It was off course a mid afternoon summer game that certainly looked very hot, and was played at altitude so maybe that's part of it, but they certainly didn't look like a team that was intent on making it to the knockout rounds.
It's probably for the best to not look at this tournament too closely, given just how many players were missing, but to exit with only one point and no goals is a depressingly poor result. That's 8 games, 0 wins, 1 goal for and 12 against in 2012 under various interim coaches, an appropriate P.S to the Stephen hart era that ended in ignominy last October in Honduras. At least we did get a few young players cap tied, realistically that's the best we could have hoped for.
Now it's on to the Benito Floro era, and if he had any doubts of the size of the job ahead of him, there won't be any left. We can't expect any instant results, but hopefully we'll soon see evidence of a plan, early signs of a recovery, starting back down the road to respectability. Without a permanent manager it was always going to be difficult to properly move on, now we can. Hopefully we'll eventually look back and recognise that this was the nadir, the darkest before the dawn moment. Hopefully.