The regular team has been found; injuries and the wear and tear of two games in a row invite to reconsider the bench. Added to this are the unfavorable circumstances of the encounter with Cuscatlán, where it has not won so far. In 21 days, the national team begins to play against El Salvador at Cuscatlán Stadium, the second of three consecutive knockout games that will boost its chances of qualifying for the Qatar Football World Cup 2022 in seven days and stop or obliterate them for the losing team.
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Panama will go into this opening stage with the cushion of five points from the three matches in which it appeared as a cohesive team that balanced its lines and advanced attacks throughout the tournament. Fourth in the provisional playoff standings, it deserves credit for not coming up short in the Octagon, and for its own soccer merits, as it is tied on points with Canada and the United States, but trails them by scoring fewer goals.
A trigger for this position is the fact that the coaching staff has found a regular team that has been in the starting eleven several times in these three games, which is in line with their playing philosophy and has proven itself on the field. luis Mejía; Michael Murillo, Fidel Escobar, Andrés Andrade, Eric Davis; An íbal Godoy, Adalberto Carrasquilla; Alberto Quintero, Edgar Bárcenas, José Luis Rodríguez and Rolando Blackburn.
High level of performance
An 11th place team composed of players with a long history and a lot of experience in the national team, who have played in previous tournaments at different times, all under the direction of Julio Deli Valdes and Hernán Darío Polillo Gómez, except for the presence of Adalberto Carrasquilla and Andrés Andrade.
If there were any doubts about Luis Mexia after the first leg against Curaçao in the last knockout round (2-1), the security he provided against Costa Rica and Jamaica completely dispelled them, but especially in the last game, in which he was the figurehead and wall to endure the shock and draw against Mexico; as he did against Brazil in the friendly (1-1) in Portugal on March 23, 2019 performance.
On the flanks in defense, Michael Murillo and Eric Davies were at the peak of their powers, while the central duo of Fidel Escobar and Andrés Andrade earned prolonged applause because they understood each other and played together as if they had done it many times before. For more details about Football World Cup Tickets.
What Andrade did was great, a performance worth highlighting, and he also scored the first goal of the channel in this final phase of the game, as if it were a positive omen because it was also defender Fidel Escobar who broke the silence of Honduras (1-0) in the hexagon with this goal and paved the way to lead Panama to Russia 2018.
In this post by Fidel Escobar, there were many positive things to say about the national coach; his quality was undisputed, but Alcorcon regained his confidence in the shadow of his team because Christiansen bet on him. Aníbal Godoy was a perfect leader as the main attacker, Panama tried to stop the circulation of the opponent and then he cleared the defense, he was up to the task; for this reason, his conditions and peripheral vision made him immobile at his club, Nashville of the MLS.
Adalberto Carrasquilla has taken a step forward in terms of performance and contribution. His short time with Houston Dynamo has brought him back to his best level. He got injured early in the game against Mexico and was hurt by the team and the whole stadium. Alberto Quintero, even when left to his physicality, was irreplaceable; Mexico abused him with the complicity of the referee.
Every time Panama had the ball at Quintero’s feet, it became more offensive and creative. Edgar Bárcenas was very good in the last game against Curaçao and the final of the second Spanish league, but his potential has diminished. This is another Bárcenas who is expected to eventually make his mark in the Spanish Primera Division. It was fundamental in all three games.
Let’s face it, José Luis Rodríguez is more will than soccer, and the Mexican could have easily controlled the game against Mexico, which he has lost many times. Hopefully, he will do better in these games against Atletico Gijon in the second Spanish league.
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