Action from the Central American Cup's match for third place between Panama (red jersey) and El Salvador on September 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Mexsport)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama head coach Hernán Darío Gómez is expecting a challenge when his side visits El Salvador for a friendly on Friday at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
According to FIFA records, it will be the 42nd all-time meeting between the Central American rivals.
“It is not a friendly at all against El Salvador, so that is how I see it,” said Gómez. “The Cuscatlán is a very difficult place. I have been there already when I managed Guatemala. We are going there with the intention of getting a good result because we are a strong team.”
The Colombian acknowledged that he is seeking increased consistency in Panama’s play. The Canaleros went unbeaten in September’s Central American (2-1-0), drawing with eventual champion and World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica, before beating Nicaragua (2-0) and the Salvadorans (1-0) in the match for third place.
“We are good for a while and then bad for a while,” Gómez noted. “We are still not in the condition to have a regular playing condition.”
Last month, the Canaleros dropped a narrow 1-0 decision at Mexico, conceding a late goal to Erick Torres. As a result, Gomez admitted there will be changes.
“In the Mexico game, we lacked the eagerness to win,” expressed the 58-year-old. “For that reason, I made several changes. There are players who I consider are very important for the team, that is why I call them. Little by little we are refreshing the team, but we have not closed the door on anyone. The players know who did well or poorly during the matches. I believe in the players.”