Gold Cup win would be a dream, says Penedo

Los Canaleros' custodian remains hopeful of a memorable victory and thinks the game could have a knock-on effect on their World Cup 2014 qualifiers
Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo believes that the team has what it takes to win the Gold Cup and what would be the nation's first piece of silverware.

Having missed out on the title to the USA eight years ago in a penalty shootout, the 31-year-old custodian is of the opinion that his team are in the best shape possible in order to avenge their previous defeat.

"We know USA have come back well in the World Cup qualifying competition and that they've been getting some very important results in the alst dewmonths and playing very well," he told

"But big finals don't come along every day and when you get to play in one you have to give it your best shot. I feel relaxed because I know the team's going to come up with the right response.

"Winning this tournament would mean a lot to Panama. We're still finding our way in the game and it's not easy to reach finals," he reiterated.

Penedo later chose to focus on the side's hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup and believes that a victory would give the side a timely boost ahead of their upcoming qualifying fixtures.

“Up to now this has been a pretty positive experience that’s standing us in good stead for the qualifiers,” the 31-year-old continued.

“What we’ve achieved here is a shot in the arm for us. We picked up just one point out of nine in our last three qualifying matches and one of our aims coming into the Gold Cup was to put in a good performance and get some momentum going. In that respect, this has done us a power of good.

“It’s the dream of an entire nation. The whole of Panama is dreaming of seeing the team at the World Cup and to make it there would bring a real sense of fulfilment to us on a personal level and to the rest of our people.”