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How Panama made World Cup dream a reality


U.S. faces crucial test vs. Panama

Five Aside

Panama's World Cup woes remind U.S. fans of their team's failure

Dan Thomas, Kasey Keller and Kate Markgraf discuss Bruce Arena's latest comments and how the USMNT should feel watching the World Cup from home.

KALININGRAD, Russia -- For the United States, Panama's 6-1 thrashing at the hands of England rubs salt in a still gaping wound.

While Saudi Arabia was the early front-runner for the unofficial title of "Worst Team in the World Cup" when it was thrashed 5-0 in the opening game by host Russia, Panama has taken over that moniker.

Sure, the Canaleros might be happy just to have made it this far, and Felipe Baloy will go down in history as the country's first goal scorer at a World Cup. Meanwhile, Panama's...

Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard impress for mature England vs. woeful Panama

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- Three thoughts on England's 6-1 win vs. Panama in Group G at the World Cup.

1. England show maturity and discipline

You can only beat what is in front of you, and what was in front of England was not much. But in a game that turned chippy and nasty on several occasions in the first half, Gareth Southgate's crew maintained their discipline and simply focused on executing.

Sure, it's a whole heck of a lot easier when the opposition's approach to set pieces seemingly involves...

Kane joins Lineker and Hurst as England canter to biggest win

Harry Kane stole the spotlight as a whole host of records tumbled following England's 6-1 thrashing of Panama. ESPN brings you the best numbers.


Harry Kane is the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game, emulating the feat of Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final against Germany, and Gary Lineker, who scored one against Poland at the 1986 World Cup in the group stages.


Kane's hat-trick is the 52nd in World Cup history, and the second...

Panama do themselves, their people proud despite opening defeat to Belgium

One of two World Cup debutants, Panama will be looking to show they belong on the grandest stage of them all.

SOCHI, Russia -- As Panama's national anthem echoed around Fisht Stadium, the magnitude of the moment was impossible to miss.

Panama captain Roman Torres had his head down, eyes closed, engrossed in the realization of a dream. Panama fans everywhere belted out the anthem with unabashed joy, as if they had discovered a new favorite song. The players couldn't help but notice.

"It was very nice to see Panamanians, for them to see us playing internationally at our first World Cup, to see their happiness,"...

Belgium finally break Panama down as De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku deliver

SOCHI, Russia -- Belgium defeated Panama 3-0 in the World Cup opener for both sides in Group G. Here are three thoughts on the Red Devils' victory:

1. Belgium made to work but get the job done

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez had warned that this was a match that "we can't expect to win quickly," and his words proved prophetic. In terms of possession, Belgium had its way with Panama and had little difficulty forcing turnovers in the attacking half. But in the first half, a combination of sharp goalkeeping...

Underdogs Panama aim to emulate Mexico against powerhouse Belgium

The last few minutes of Germany v Mexico were nail-biting for everyone in the room. There was a loud groan when Manuel Neuer went up for the corner kick, given his reputation of being more than a keeper. And when the final whistle went, giving Mexico an unexpected and fully deserved win over the World Cup holders, Panama's president Juan Carlos Varela led the cheering, then shook hands with others in the Sochi bar watching along with him.

Varela's upbeat mood was understandable. Panama know...