PANAMA CITY, Panama– While the Panamanian National Team’s qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was a historic achievement, it is perhaps the recent performances of the country’s club teams that is the true reflection of the improvement of Panamanian football.
Look no further than the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League as the shining example of Panama’s ascent.
All three Panamanian representatives in the 2018 SCL, Arabe Unido, Tauro and CD Universitario, collected victories in the first leg of their respective Round of 16 ties.
Arabe Unido defeated Arnett Gardens of Jamaica 3-0, Tauro downed Honduran side Real Espana 1-0 and CD Universitario picked up a big 4-0 win against Nicaragua’s Diriangen.
The manner in which the Canalero clubs strode to victory was noteworthy. They each showcased the depth they possess, mixing a devastating attack with a stifling defense in what amounted to three clean sheet victories.
This Panamanian momentum at the club level has been building for some time now.
It was two years ago at this time when Arabe Unido began its unforgettable march to a perfect 4W-0D-0L record in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group stage, which included a pair of victories over Monterrey of Mexico, becoming the first Panamanian club to ever win on Mexico soil in a CONCACAF match.
That was then followed by Tauro’s run to the 2018 SCCL quarterfinals in which its two road goals helped the club eliminated MLS side FC Dallas 3-3 on aggregate in the Round of 16.
With three clubs well positioned to reach the quarterfinal stage of the SCL and a national team coming off a historic appearance on football’s grandest stage, it is no stretch to say that Panamanian football is poised to be one of CONCACAF’s powers for years to come.