Denis Foynes – There is no doubt that Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica were three tough games in a row for Panama. However, the nation was certainly hoping for better results than they got.
In the end, only one point out of a possible nine was secured and Panama slipped from first place in the group to fifth.
It had started very well. Mexico came to town and Panama held their ground. In fact, they were probably the better with the better chances to score and were unfortunate not to do so. They settled for the 0-0 draw and the point. Not a bad result at all.
That is as good as it got for Panama. In their away game against the United States they looked uneasy as the surprisingly vocal US crowd cheered their team to a 2-0 victory.
This meant that Panama really needed some sort of result against local rivals Costa Rica. At half time in Costa Rica, things appeared to be going well. It was still 0-0 and Panama were playing very well. However right at the start of the second half, Costa Rica scored two great goals within five minutes and the sucker punches knocked the wind out of Panama.
This leaves Panama fifth out of the six teams in the group. The first three teams go automatically to the World Cup next year while the fourth placed team will enter a play-off against New Zealand for a place in Brazil. With three games remaining, Panama will need to at least leap frog Honduras if they want to go to the play-off and keep the dream alive.