Mexico saw their passage to the quarterfinals get that much harder after Thursday night's 1-1 draw against Panama. El Tri faced a very physical Panama team who came to redeem themselves after their tough loss to Guadeloupe. The Panamanians' game plan was simple: attack, but not the goal.
Instead the Mexican players were the targets. Giovani dos Santos saw it this way as he expressed himself to the media.
“We felt good after the goal,” mentioned Dos Santos. “Panama only came here to provoke us.”
they did, even getting under manager Javier Aguirre’s skin. Aguirre
kicked Panama’s Ricardo Phillips and was sent off for it. El Tri ended
up with 10 players while Panama left with nine.
“It was a
physical game. We barely played anything since the blow of the whistle.
Both teams had men sent away and with the hostile crowd it was a really
difficult game,” added Dos Santos.
Frequent stops to the game
made the game difficult to play, even to watch. The rowdy crowd didn’t
do much to help as they did not let Phillips leave. Objects were being
thrown and Phillips had to be shielded as he ran off the field. At that
point the game was stopped for more than eight minutes. The game itself
extended past 100-minute mark. Jonny Magallon, who was somewhat to
blame for Panama’s goal, also thought the frequent stops affected the
“There were a lot of stoppages and that led to us losing
our focus. I think we did have it at our disposal to go up and seal the
game away. It was a strange game, but in the end we got a point which
really helps us,” Magallon admitted.
El Tri will hope to finally seal their passage on Sunday when they face Guadeloupe in Phoenix
Sylvestre Adame, Goal.com
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