Darwin Pinzon (white jersey) scored two goals in Panama's win over visiting Cuba on August 20, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Federación Panameña de Fútbol)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – In its last international friendly prior to next month’s Copa Centroamericana, Panama defeated visiting Cuba 4-0 on Wednesday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Darwin Pinzon scored two goals, while Juan De Gracia and Ismael Diaz added one each in the win.
The encounter marked the first victory for head coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who was named to the position in February as a replacement for Julio Cesar Dely Valdes.
All four Panamanian goals came in the second half, with Pinzon opening the scoring in the 67th minute. Eric Davis’ cross into the area was dummied by Abdiel Arroyo, allowing Pinzon an easy finish.
Four minutes later, De Gracia doubled the lead with a shot from outside the area.
Pinzon tallied his second of the night in the 74th minute, again connecting with Davis, whose pass found the Sporting San Miguelito standout to make it 3-0.
Diaz closed the Canaleros’ goal account a minute into second-half stoppage time.
After the game, Gomez expressed his pleasure with the result, but emphasized that Panama has more work to do before the Central American championship.
“We need to improve,” said Gomez. “In some moments there was tactical order, but it fell apart when we lost the ball. This will take time.”
Panama will open Copa Centroamericana play against defending champion Costa Rica on September 7 in Dallas, Texas.