• News

Panama boss reacts furiously to “worst team” accusations

Panama v Tunisia: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Getty Images
Advertisement

Panama boss Hernan Dario Gomez has reacted furiously to accusations that his side were the “worst team” of the World Cup following their 2-1 defeat to Tunisia in their final game

Los Canaleros had actually opened the scoring in Thursday’s Group G finale against fellow eliminated side Tunisia with the opposition’s goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi being fooled by Luis Rodriguez’s shot, which took a slight deflection to hand Panama the lead.

But Fakhreddine Ben Youssef equalised for Tunisia when he was assisted by Wahbi Khazri, who then turned from provider to goalscorer by netting the match-winning goal.

After heavy losses to both Belgium and England in their first two games, Panama have become the first since Serbia and Togo in 2006 to lose each of their first three World Cup games.

Speaking after the match, Gomez was left furious by suggestions that Panama were the worst team at Russia and pointed out how the country’s infrastructure means that it is futile for them to challenge the big nations at the moment.

“We are last, yes … but the worst team?” asked the Colombian, according to SB Nation.

“You have to start comparing other things, such as the training of footballers and sports education.

“We’re the newest team, it’s obvious, and the one that has the most difficulties.

“If you see the fields we have, the infrastructure, it’s a team that is growing.

“We all worked extremely hard and played every game against teams that have been to World Cups before.

“You cannot call us the worst team, it’s a complete lack of respect.”

Gomez will be taking some time off before making any final decisions about his future.

“I have received other offers,” he added.

“I’m going to take some time for myself and then make decisions. Right now, I’m a little tired.”

In their debut campaign, Panama scored two goals in Group G which means that every side has scored at least two goals in the World Cup for the first time.