• Wednesday Nov 15, 2017

    Gomez praises Panama after Wales draw

    Hernan Dario Gomez (pictured) guided Panama to a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo: AFP Services) 

    CARDIFF, Wales – Panama has plenty to feel confident about following its 1-1 draw at Wales in an international friendly on Tuesday at the Cardiff City Stadium.

    The Canaleros, who were coming off a 2-1 loss to Iran on November 9, earned the result thanks to penalty-kick save by goalkeeper Jaime Penedo in the 41st minute and Armando Cooper’s goal in second-half stoppage time.

    “They all had a good performance.  Some had more chances than others, but everyone who came on did things with personality and character,” said Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez.  “From there, step by step, we are improving.”

    It may have been Panama’s last match of the year, but now Gomez begins process of evaluating players and preparing for Russia 2018 – the nation’s first-ever World Cup appearance.

    “To those who are here, I told them that some are going to the World Cup and others no,” the 61-year-old Colombian commented.  “But what is also being worked on is the [next] Central American Cup, Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifying.”

    Gomez noted that the performance against the 2016 European Championship semifinalist is yet another illustration of Panamanian football’s development.

    “It was an important job for the Liga Panameña de Fútbol, for Panamanians because it is a demonstration of good things and an example of these boys who showed personality and character,” he finished.

    Panama concluded its 2017 schedule with an overall record of 8W-6D-6L.

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