PANAMA CITY, Panama – With three wins in its last four games, Tauro FC has picked the right time to get hot in the Liga Panameña de Fútbol, especially since it will face Arabe Undo on Saturday in the 2017 Panamanian Clausura final at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez
The Toros de Pedregal’s objective is to lift the domestic trophy for the first time since the 2013 Apertura.
Rolando Palma was the side’s head coach for that success and, in his second spell in change, now has Tauro poised for a 13th title. Obviously, he’s not satisfied by the mere feat of being in the decider.
“I’m going for more. The goal will be fulfilled when I lift the champion's trophy,” said Palma. “We have worked all year for this moment and we are not satisfied with just participating in the party. We want Tauro to be champion of Panama once again.”
Victory over defending champion Arabe Unido would be sweet sporting revenge for Tauro, which appeared well positioned to take the 2016 Apertura crown. It finished atop the regular-season table, before falling to the Expreso Azul in the semifinals, 3-5 on aggregate.
“Football always gives revenge, winning this final Arabe Unido would serve to close a winning process,” Palma remarked. “This is why football is so beautiful, it always gives you the opportunity to rise up.”
The two Apertura meetings between Tauro and Arabe proved to be quite different affairs. On February 17, Tauro earned a 5-3 road win on a pair of goals by Armando Polo. The second, on April 21, ended in a scoreless draw.
What can be expected in the third encounter?
“It is going to be a very closed game,” finished Palma. “I think the final score will not be very wide because these types of meetings are very tight. For the fan, though, I believe it will be a very nice match because both teams have a very colorful style of play.”
The winner will earn a place in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, while the loser will compete in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League.