Panama's Michael Murillo (pictured) will miss the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a knee injury. (Photo: Mexsport)
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Panama’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup hopes were dealt a blow on Friday, when the Federación Panameña de Fútbol (FEPAFUT) announced that defenders Kevin Galvan and Michael Amir Murillo will miss the tournament.
Galvan has been ruled out with a right thigh strain, while Murillo has a concern with medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The injuries were suffered in a friendly against Uruguay on Wednesday.
The duo were key performers for Panama as it finished as runner-up to Mexico in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. Each went 120 minutes in the final, which the Mexicans eventually captured on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw. Murillo also scored the only goal in a 1-0 group stage win over Trinidad & Tobago.
Both players will be sent back to Panama, compelling FEPAFUT to ask FIFA for permission to add replacements. If the request is accepted, head coach Leonardo Pipino will call in Tauro’s Jomar Diaz and Shaquille Coronado of Arabe Unido. Both will have to travel from Central America to New Zealand.
Panama will open its U-20 World Cup campaign against Argentina on May 30 in Wellington.