Panama Faces Crucial Match Against USA in Copa América

Panama’s Performance Against Uruguay

In their Copa América opener in Miami, Panama creditably stayed in the game against Uruguay before two late goals saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat. Despite the loss, Thomas Christiansen’s side showed resilience and determination, keeping the match competitive for a significant period.

Upcoming Challenge Against the United States

Panama now heads to Atlanta to take on the host nation, the United States of America, needing a result to avoid a repeat of their group-stage exit in 2016. This tournament marks only their second appearance in the Copa América, with the previous one also hosted by the USA. The Canal Men’s overall head-to-head record against the USA is poor (W4, D4, L18), but they have won two of the last three meetings, including a penalty shootout win in last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final in San Diego.

The United States’ Form and Expectations

The United States opened their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Bolivia, with all goals scored before half-time. Christian Pulisic and Antonee Robinson emphasized the importance of this win for building confidence ahead of tougher matches. On paper, Panama presents a more formidable challenge, sitting 41 places higher than Bolivia in FIFA’s rankings. However, the Stars and Stripes will still be favorites, looking to match their group stage points tally from the 2016 tournament where they finished fourth as hosts.

Key Players to Watch

Michael Murillo, who netted against Uruguay, has been a crucial player for Panama, contributing to three goals in his last five matches for club and country. For the USA, Christian Pulisic has been pivotal, scoring the team’s first goal in their last two games, each strike coming within the opening half-hour.

Leave a comment