Panama Coach Gómez Admits They ‘Lost With Dignity’ After Belgium Outshine World Cup Debutants

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Panama manager Hernán Darío Gómez has claimed that he was proud to see his side lose ‘with dignity’ in their first ever match at a World Cup finals after the Central American minnows ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against Group G favourites Belgium.

It took a wonder goal from Dries Mertens to break the deadlock early in the second half following a dogged first half display from Panama, with Romelu Lukaku adding the gloss to the Red Devils’ victory by scoring two late goals.

But Gómez feels that his side can take some positives from their first ever match at a World Cup, insisting that their defeat at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi was a learning curve for the tournament’s debutants.

“I think we have learned a lot from today’s game. It was a very emotional day,” Gómez said after the match, quoted by Sky Sports

“The team was still very emotional at the start of the match but as time went by, they were able to focus better.

“It was an incredible experience for our country and I think that our performance was not bad. You’re never happy when you lose but I told my players that they lost with dignity. We will keep growing and learning.”

Panama will be hoping to avoid a similar result when they take on England, who secured a late win in their opening match, later this week. 

However, Gómez should be confident that his side can register their first ever point at a World Cup when they face Tunisia on matchday three.

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