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Panama - World Cup 2018

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Qualifying for their country's first World Cup ever was no small feat for this Central American Nation.

Under the tutelage of manager Hernan Dario Gomez, the Panama National Team inched into the last CONCACAF spot; now, they might need a small miracle to win even one game at the Russia 2018 World Cup Odds.

The team recently lost their last two friendly matches, dropping a 1-0 contest to Denmark and a 6-0 match to Switzerland. Albeit losses, these games should give Panama a taste of what kind of action they can expect at the World Cup.

Panama’s Really Short World Cup History

While they have never been to a World Cup Tournament, Panama nonetheless has fielded an international team since the early 20th Century.

Panama mainly competed in the CCCF (Central American and Caribbean Football Confederation) tournament, which was played every 2-3 years between 1941 and 1961. Panama won the tournament only once, in 1951.

Recently, Panama has been knocking on the door of some of the bigger CONCACAF teams, finishing runners-up in the 2005 and the 2013 Gold Cup tournaments, and third in 2015.

They also have had success in the Copa Centroamericana, winning the tournament in 2009 and finishing as runners-up in 2007 and 2017.

Panama’s Road To The 2018 World Cup

Panama's qualifying process had its ups and downs. They received a bye to the fourth round as one of the top 6 teams in the region, in 5th place just ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.

In the fourth round, they finished second in their group that included Costa Rica, Haiti, and Jamaica. Panama went 3-1-2 to finish with 10 points, enough to advance to the 5th and final round of qualifying, where they went 3-4-3 to grab the third and last spot to automatically qualify for Russia 2018. During both qualifying rounds, they scored a total of 20 goals and had a differential of only +1.

How Does The Panama World Cup 2018 Squad Stack Up?

Regardless of how they got to Russia 2018, the fact is that they made it and it is a historic event for a small Central American nation.

The players who made it happen will take the field in Russia led by 37-year-old Captain Felipe Baloy, a defenseman who has 101 caps for his country.

For scoring though they will look to Blas Perez, who is the current leading goal scorer for his country with 43 goals through 116 caps. Alongside him is striker Luis Tejeda, who also has 43 goals in 104 caps. Gabriel Gomez will be the central figure in the midfield while Roman Torres of the Seattle Sounders is the key figure on defense.

Panama Odds To Win World Cup 2018

It is not likely that Panama will win a game in this difficult group. This team can be proud though, they’ve paved the road to more world cup appearances for future generations.

Even while it’s shocking to think Panama will reach far into the tournament, without any pressure whatsoever against any of the teams they face, as we saw with Costa Rica last year, it can be a recipe for bringing down giants.

Panama World Cup 2018

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