Panama

Panama

Appearances at World Cups

The national football team of Panama started to participate in WC qualification phases in 1978. We can't speak about successes, this country's representatives have never been considered as favourites to reach the final part of a world cup. So this appearance among the final 32 teams at the WC in Russia became a grandiose success for all Panama. In this respect, the president of this small country declared 11 October as an all-national holiday.

The road of Panama to the World Cup, indeed, is worth ticking this day in the calendar in red. The last round was dramatic. To advance from the group, Panama needed to win Costa Rica, which also ensured a ticket to the WC. The US national team was the major opponent of Panama for the remaining ticket to Russia. In the end, everything was miraculously good for Panama: the USA lost to Trinidad, Honduras defeated Mexico, while the Panama captain scored a victorious goal to Costa Rica two minutes before the final whistle.

Head coach and best player

The players of the national team of Panama rarely appear on headlines of elite newspapers and is almost unknown to the public. It's a too difficult task to stress somebody in this line-up of the team. And it will be better to note the team's unity. The head coach doesn't play a small role in the success of the squad. Hernán Darío Gómez made a unique achievement for his expertise, he managed to reach the WC with three different teams at once. There were quite sensational performances of Colombia at the 1998 WC and Ecuador in 2002 before Panama.

  • Preliminary squad: Penedo – Ovalle, Baloy, Torres, Machado – Quintero, Godoy, Gómez, Cooper – Torres, Pérez.

Base camp and cities

The national team of Panama will be based in Saransk. The meeting of Panama against Tunisia that will be in this city has already been unofficially called the most boring match at the 2018 WC. It's complicated not to agree with this opinion. But right this game can create a sensation like the elimination of one of the favourites in the person of England and Belgium. Moreover, if Panama manages to earn some points against England and Belgium at the stadiums in Nizhny Novgorod and Sochi, respectively.

By Zulfat Shafigullin. Photo: fifa.com