Panama’s World Cup dreams rekindled

Garath McCLeary (left) and Roberto Chen, Panama fight for possession
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PANAMA 2, JAMAICA 0

PANAMA’S DREAM of appearing in  the final rounds of a World Cup  were rekindled  on Friday September 4 with a   2-0 victory  over Jamaica  moving the team into the hexagonal round on  the long and hard road to the 2018 finals in Russia.

Gabriel Torres scored in the 28th minute and Abdiel Arroyo scored in stoppage time to lead the team to victory in Rommel Fernandez Stadium.

“These guys give me so much joy. It was a hard match, but they were men,” said the team’s Colombian  coach Hernán Darío Gómez,

This is the third time that Panama has classified for the final stage of qualifying. It has never played in the finals.

Panama will face Costa Rica Tuesday in a game that is meaningless as both teams have qualified from the group. Jamaica and Haiti have been eliminated.

In the next round, Panama will be among the six teams playing for three direct spots in the World Cup finals and one playoff spot.

Gomez credited the crowd with helping the team, calling it the team’s 12th man.

“If we want to go to a World Cup we must win these kind of games,” he said.

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