• Thursday Nov 30, 2017

    Panama welcomes World Cup challenge

    Panama players (pictured) prepare in the tunnel ahead of a CONCACAF Gold Cup game against Costa Rica on July 19, 2017. (Photo: AFP Services)

    MOSCOW – Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez believes his squad will have a lot to offer at next summer’s FIFA World Cup, but he’s taking a big picture approach.

    The 61-year-old Colombian is in Russia for Friday’s World Cup draw, where the Canaleros’ opposition will be determined for their first-ever appearance in the competition.

    “Panama has a style of play and it is important for us to grow,” he said. “We come to have a dignified performance and to go as far as we can.”

    Gomez is well-versed in managing teams debuting in a World Cup, guiding Ecuador to the Round of 16 at Korea/Japan 2002.

    “The most difficult thing is to make a family and give it order,” remarked the former Guatemala manager. “It is an important generation that earned qualification to the World Cup, but there is still a lot to improve.”

    Gomez also declared that he would like to see Panama take on the football world’s heaviest hitters, finishing: “I feel like all the teams want to have Panama in their group. Each time I think about a group, I like the idea that it’s the best one.”

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