Gomez wants Panama to maintain its style

In addition to Panama, head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (holding up hand) has led Ecuador and Guatemala in previous editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- A day after learning it booked a spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals, Panama discovered its opponent.The Canaleros will meet Trinidad & Tobago at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, after the Soca Warriors played Mexico to a thrilling 4-4 draw to win Group C on Wednesday night.All four Caribbean representatives in the tournament advanced past the group stage for the first as Trinidad will be joined by Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba in the knockout rounds.“Trinidad and Tobago, like all the Caribbean teams, has worked well in the Cup,” said Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez. “They have been imposed their strength and speed, and have added to the defensive organization of their side and have become a very competitive and very difficult team.”On March 27, Panama posted a 1-0 victory over host Trinidad in an international friendly thanks to Roman Torres’ first-half goal at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. They have squared off just once previously in Gold Cup play, a 2-2 draw in 2005.“Here, the most important thing about this is that Panama maintains and imposes its style and not betray its style,” Gomez remarked. “Between that and playing good football, the results will come.”Had Mexico held on to beat Trinidad, the Tricolor would have been Panama’s opponent. Instead, the six-time CONCACAF champion will meet Costa Rica.Even though Panama defeated the Mexicans twice in the 2013 Gold Cup, Gomez expressed that he had no preference for an opponent.“I have seen a very difficult Gold Cup, very close…no names of favorites, but all was very even on the field,” remarked the Colombian, who led Guatemala to the 2007 Gold Cup quarterfinals. “We did well in the group with difficult teams where we committed ourselves, but always left with the initiative.”Panama played to three draws in Group A with the defending champion United States, Haiti and Honduras, leading at one point in each of those games.Gomez believes the people of Panama should have confidence in the 2013 runner-up heading into the quarterfinals.“I’m working in the best way,” he finished. “The guys are working in their best way. We have had three tough opponents. The other is also difficult. Nothing easy is there, but they are convinced that we will deliver everything and bring them a win in this match.”