Dos Santos: Panama Only Came To Provoke Us

Panama's plan of attack on Thursday was to cause physical damage to Mexican players, said El Tri's Giovani Dos Santos.
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.”

Provoke 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 game.

“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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