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Panama comes down from the clouds to the US on the Concacaf octagonal

Panama comes down from the clouds to the US on the Concacaf octagonal

Panama defeated the United States 1-0 on the fifth date of the Concacaf octagonal qualifier for the Qatar-2022 World Cup and reached it in the first place of the positions, which it now shares with Mexico.

The only goal of the match, played at the Rommel Fernández stadium in Panama City, was scored by Aníbal Godoy in the 54th minute.

The octagonal of Concacaf grants three direct tickets to the 2022 World Cup and the possibility for the fourth of a playoff against a selection from another continent.

After five dates disputed, Panama adds eight points, the same as the United States and Mexico. Canada follows with seven, Coast delicious with six, El Salvador with five, Honduras with three and Jamaica closes the key with two.

Mexicans and Hondurans have one game less, which they played on Sunday night.

In the sixth round of the octagonal, on Wednesday, Panama will play against Canada, while the United States will host Costa Rica.

– USA’s first defeat –

The defeat, the first suffered by the United States in the octagonal, once again raises doubts in the team led by Gregg Berhalter, who went to Panama with two victories in a row, after a poor start to the competition.

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On the contrary, the victory not only allowed Panama to tie the United States in the standings, it also made him regain his smile and confidence in his game, after the first defeat suffered last Thursday in El Salvador.

The Panama coach, Thomas Christiansen, started the match with only two changes compared to the last game and recovered the game system that left him feeling good in the first days.

For his part, Gregg Berhalter completely revolutionized the starting team and started with Yunus Musah and Tim Weah in offensive roles, in addition to the experienced Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes.

In the first minutes the game was very dynamic, with pressure from both teams, who did not hesitate to seek the rival goal.

Panama did it from speed and with the ball on the ground, against a rival who opted for the passing game in pitches to set balls.

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The first to warn was the Panamanian Blackburn, but at minute 14 he did not reach an assist in which he only had to push the freckled one.

At 24, it was the American Paul Arriola who failed to connect in front of the goalkeeper, to the despair of the player.

Soon after, goalkeeper Matt Turner avoided two Olympic goals on consecutive corner kicks. And before the end, one of his hands, a poisoned shot from Édgar Bárcenas that slipped through the squad, avoided the local score.

– Panama breaks the nets –

At the start of the second half, Berhalter brought in Tyler Adams and Brenden AAronson, looking for more control of the game in the middle court and more depth in attack.

The changes caused, at times, greater availability of the ball for the visit.

But it was Panama that took the glory by scoring the goal of the game at minute 54, when he “combed” a corner kick at the near post, in complicity with Gyasi Zardes.

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With the goal, the appointment gained in emotion. In the absence of 20 minutes, Berhalter put Ricardo Pepi on the field, for an absent and inoperative Zardes.

However, in the final minutes, the Stars and Stripes team did not show much danger, even losing several balls that ended in counterattacks for the Panamanians, cheered by a crowd delivered to their team. AFP (HN)

Data sheet:

1- Panama: Luis Mejía; Michael Amir Murillo, Fidel Escobar, Harold Cummings, Eric Davis; Anibal Godoy (m.69 Armando Cooper), Cristian Martínez (m.89 Abdiel Ayarza), Alberto Quintero (m.89 César Yanis), Édgar Bárcenas, Freddy Gondola (m.57 Alfredo Stephens); Rolando Blackburn (d. 69 Eduardo Guerrero)

Selector: Thomas Christiansen

0- United States: Matt Turner; George Bello, Walker Zimmerman, Shaq Moore (m.68 DeAndre Yedlin), Mark Mckenzie, Sebastián Lletget, Yunus Musah (m.46 Tyler Adams), Gyasi Zardes (m.67 Ricardo Pepi), Kellyn Acosta; Tim Weah (m.68 Crristian Roldán) and Paul Arriola (m.46 Brendan Aaronson).

Selector: Gregg Berhalter

Goals: 1-0: M.54: Aníbal Godoy.

Referee: César Ramoas (Mexico). He admonished the Panamanian Alfredo Stepehens.

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