Panama seek redemption against hosts USA in crucial Copa America Clash

Panama seek redemption against hosts USA in crucial Copa America Clash

Eric Munene 20:00 - 27.06.2024

Panama seeking first Copa America group win.

Panama's journey in the Copa América 2024 has been a rollercoaster of emotions thus far, marked by highs and lows that reflect their determination to make a mark on the international stage.

Their opener against Uruguay showed promise as they admirably held their ground before succumbing to a 3-1 defeat due to two late goals.

Now, as they prepare to face the United States in Atlanta, Thomas Christiansen's side understands the urgency of securing a positive result to avoid a repeat of their disappointing group-stage exit in 2016, their sole prior appearance in this prestigious tournament.

Despite historically struggling against their upcoming opponents, with only four wins out of 26 encounters, Panama finds confidence in recent performances against the United States.

Notably, they clinched victories in two of their last three meetings, including a dramatic penalty shootout triumph in last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final.

This victory underscored their resilience, especially considering their notable scarcity of goalless draws within regulation time over the past two years.

The United States, however, present a formidable challenge, having started their Copa América campaign on a strong note with a convincing 2-0 victory over Bolivia.

Christian Pulisic and Antonee Robinson highlighted the significance of this win in boosting team morale ahead of tougher fixtures.

Despite their mixed record on home soil recently, including a notable draw against Brazil, Gregg Berhalter's side enters the match as favorites against a Panama squad ranked 41 places higher than Bolivia in FIFA's rankings.

Key players to watch include Panama's Michael Murillo, who has been instrumental with three goal contributions in his last five appearances for club and country, and USA's Pulisic, known for his early goalscoring prowess in recent matches.

For Panama, the clash against the hosts serves as a pivotal opportunity to assert their growing stature in international football and erase past disappointments.

A positive outcome against the United States would not only bolster their chances in the Copa América but also signify their evolving prowess on the continental stage.