An upset, a game winning score with no time remaining and a record setting offensive performance kicked off an action-packed day 1 of the 2018 IFAF Flag Football World Championship at Costa Del Este Sports Center in Panama City, Panama.
In the Men’s division, Mexico (1-0) outlasted Denmark (1-1) in the final minute to pull off the tournament’s first upset with a 48-47 win over the defending European champions, while Canada (1-0) shocked Israel (1-2) on the game’s final play to steal a 40-39 victory and the USA (2-0) set a tournament record for points scored with an 80-0 defeat of India (0-2) who is making their IFAF FFWC debut.
Following their record setting performance against India in game 1, USA escaped a determined Austria (1-1), 38-24, in a game that wasn’t decided until two minutes left when USA wide receiver Greg Meek made the play of the tournament to seal the American victory.
Keeping pace with USA in Group A was host Panama (2-0) who dispatched India 66-0 and overcame a spirited Japan (0-2) squad with a 40-20 win.
In Group B, both Mexico (1-0) and Canada (1-0) needed late game heroics to advance past their opponents and find themselves atop the standings heading into day 2.
In the Women’s division, Panama (2-0) delighted the capacity home crowd in a thrilling 31-20 win over Canada (0-1) and cruised to a 51-0 victory over the Czech Republic (0-2) to end day 1 tied with upstart Brazil (2-0) atop Group A.
In Group B, Denmark (1-0) staged a late game comeback and scored with no time left to shock Israel (0-2) 25-22 while both the USA (2-0) and Mexico (1-0) defeated Austria (0-2) who now finds themselves in a must-win situation to advance out of the group stage.
Teams from the Americas dominated the first day of the FFWC with a combined 13-3 record including 8 of the 9 remaining undefeated teams in the tournament.
Day 1 Scores
Standings after Day 1 – Men’s Division
Standings after Day 1 – Women’s Division