It is Panama’s first ever FIFA World Cup final. They grabbed the tournament’s ticket after a 2-1 win against Costa Rica on the final match day of Concacaf, thus qualifying for the world cup. The coach, Hernan Dario Gomez has a major contribution in the team’s inclusion.
The names in the team are somewhat unknown but quite experienced players. The selected defenders in the team are Richard Peralta from Alianza, Chin Hormechea from Arabe Unido, Sergio Ortega from Plaza Amador and Francisco Palacios from San Francisco.
The mid fielding positions might be taken up by Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Josiel Nunez, Leslie Heraldez (both from Arabe Unido), Oscar Villarreal, Rolando Botello, Adalberto Carrasquilla (all 3 from Tauro).
The forward position strikers include Carlos Small from Arabe Unido, Independiente Chorrera’s Jose Fajardo and Omar Browne, Ronaldo Dinolis from Sporint San Miguelito, Jesus Gonzalez from Tauro and Alianza’s Alexis Palacios. The key player to watch out for is Louis Tejada from the Universitario club. The striker has 43 goals to his credit.
The goal keeping job is between Chorrillo’s Jose Calderon and San Francisco’s Alex Rodriguez.
Panama captain Roman Torres, has carved a name for himself by delivering in the matches that count. Not just once, but thrice. It was the captain who scored a decisive late goal in the team’s home win against Costa Rica which sealed their position at the 2018 FIFA cup.
The Back Bone of the Squad
Jaime Penedo is the one goal keeper having extensive experience with 100 caps for his nation. Felipe Baloy, the defender, is a skilled one and a good header of the ball. He has lots of energy which he can pass on to his team mates. Gabriel Gomez is an attacking mid fielder with an eye to detail. Gabriel Torres is an effective striker.
Placed in Group G, Panama squad faces Belgium, then England and then Tunisia as their opponents. This central American team has a tough task set ahead of them in Russia. The competitive group in which they are placed only toughens the task. But an equally tough mentality is maintained by the squad whose only aim is to play well, at the moment.
The Republic of Panama has declared a national holiday to celebrate the qualification of the team in the FIFA cup, their 49th position in international ranking. The team should not let that go in vain.