Manager

Hernan Dario Gomez. The Colombian is vastly experienced and remains one of only two managers to have guided three different sides to the World Cup.

Having previously led Ecuador and Colombia to the tournmant, he was appointed in 2014 with the mantra of steering Panama in the direction of their first ever major tournament and he succeeded.

 

Method Of Qualification

Panama finished third in the 5th round of the CONCACAF qualifying campaign pipping Honduras and the USA to the final automatic spot.

They won three of their ten matches including a crucial 2-1 success against Costa Rica at the beginning of October which helped seal their place in Russia.

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They only netted nine times throughout the campaign but barring a 4-0 defeat at the Orlando City Stadium, they remained relatively solid, conceding just ten times in total.

There were mass celebrations inside Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez once the final whistle had sounded as their place at the World Cup was confirmed.

 

Star Player Of Qualifying

Roman Torres was a rock and led by example throughout the qualifying campaign.

Not only did the Seattle Sounders defender run a tight ship at the back but he also netted the decisive goal against Costa Rica which booked their place in Russia.

He is a natural leader and played 800 minutes in total ensuring his side exceeded all expectations. He'd previously helped his side progress to the semi-finals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 

Most Memorable World Cup Moment

Panama have never previously competed in a World Cup but their qualification for the 2018 tournament sparked jubilant scenes on the streets of Panama City.

The country even declared a national holiday to mark the achievement and the 2-1 victory over Costa Rica which secured their place in the competition remains their most memorable moment to date.

They will have the chance to re-write history once again in June 2018.

 

Predicted Finish

Panama will be aiming to defy expectations and they are likely to be tough to break down but sadly it's difficult to see them progressing beyond the group stage of the tournament.

They are unlikely to go home without a point but Hernan Dario Gomez's men will find it hard to finish ahead of both Belgium and England.

 

Recommended Bet

Their best chance of success will come during their final group game with Tunisia and they are 23/10 to take all three points from that contest.

Their opener against Belgium is likely to be tough but they will be determined to avoid defeat and it's 6/5 for Under 2.5 goals in that clash.

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

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