‘Maybe we were last, but are we really the worst team?’: Panama manager Hernan Gomez defends debut World Cup performance in Russia
- Hernan Gomez took offence when asked if Panama were worst at the World Cup
- Defeat to Tunisia means Panama end their World Cup debut with no points
- Panama lost 3-0 to Belgium and 6-1 to England, ending with a -9 goal difference
Panama may have lost all three of their matches on their World Cup debut, but their coach took offence when it was suggested that the team was the worst at the tournament.
Panama’s minus-nine goal difference was the worst at a World Cup among teams with zero points since North Korea‘s minus-11 in 2010.
Hernan Gomez took offence when asked if Panama were the worst team at the World Cup
Defeat to Tunisia on Thursday means Panama end their World Cup debut with no points
Panama lost 3-0 to Belgium and 6-1 to England, ending up with a minus-nine goal difference
When asked why some were calling his team the worst at this World Cup, Panama coach Hernan Gomez got angry.
‘Maybe we were last, but are we really the worst team?’ Gomez said. ‘I think you should compare everything, the backdrops. We are the newest team and we ran into the most difficult schedule.’
Primarily known as a country for producing baseball players and boxers, football is only just catching on in Panama. Gomez said that Panama lacks playing fields, strong club competitions and the infrastructure to compete at the top level at the moment.
‘Please don’t call us the worst team,’ he said. ‘We are not the worst team. We are a team that is learning and growing. I think you need to respect our team much more. You cannot call us the worst team. That is a lack of respect.’
Panama took the lead through Jose Luis Rodriguez but Tunisia came back to triumph
Panama, who had the fifth-oldest team at the tournament by average age, lost 3-0 to Belgium and 6-1 to England in their first two matches in World Cup history. On Monday, the Canaleros opened the scoring against Tunisia, but later conceded their 10th and 11th goals in the tournament
‘Maybe if we were look at the history and the backdrop of other countries, we can’t really be called the worst, worst team,’ Gomez said. ‘I think you need to compare everything, not only compare the scores.
‘You need to compare the backdrop, the history. Bear that all in mind before you call us the worst team.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.