The selection of the 2018 world Cup: Kicker, Gomez and others

Tuesday. Panama. Panama – Costa Rica – 2:1. Roman Torres, the scorer of the winning goal that brought the hosts for the 2018 world Cup. Photo: Reuters

In the area of CONCACAF vouchers for the 2018 world Cup along with the Mexicans conquered Panama and Costa Rica, and the U.S. team left out of the tournament.


Actually, the Panamanians had a chance to get to the world Cup in Brazil, but managed to lose it all in the injury time of the last match of qualification. In the 90th minute of the match against USA they kept the minimum win and ahead of Mexico in the fight for fourth “seam” in the table selection CONCACAF, but managed to miss from unmotivated Americans two goals in three minutes and lost all chances for a trip to Brazil.

Four years later, Panama retaliated with extreme cynicism: in the last round they beat unmotivated Costa Rica and pushed US right on to fifth place qualification.

In November 2016 Panamanians began with an away victory over Honduras, and that success had to wait as much as 10 months – September 5 Panama got a big win over Trinidad. Between these two matches “red” had 4 times a draw and suffered two defeats. And in the last round was a dream come true the third victory in the fifth round of the qualifying tournament brought the Panamanians to the world Cup.

You probably remember Hernan Dario Gomez, who brought the national team of Colombia at the 1998 world Cup and the national team of Ecuador in the 2002 FIFA world Cup. On Tuesday, this specialist become the author of the trainer’s hat-trick – Panamanians third national team, which he led for the world championship.

Gomez could have come in for the 2014 world Cup in Brazil, but in 2011 was involved in a scandal that cost him his post as head coach of the Colombian national team.

Late in the evening of 6 August 2011 specialist beat a woman in one of the bars in Bogota. Eyewitnesses say that Gomez at least four times struck his companion. After this incident, the coach was immediately dismissed. To restart a career he had in Independiente of Medellin, and in 2014 he went to Panama.

Don’t look for stars in the national team of Panama. Two of top scorer Luis Tejada and Blas Perez played in teams from Guatemala and Peru, respectively. Roman Torres, who scored the decisive goal in the match with Costa Rica, stands for “Seattle sounders” from the MLS.

In the part that Hernan Dario Gomez has called in for the final games of qualifying, only three players from European clubs. The main goalkeeper of the national team of Panama, Jaime Penedo once were part of the CA Osasuna (but have not played a single game), and now defends the colors of Dinamo Bucharest. Defender Eric Davis third season of play for “DUCK 1904” in the Slovak super League, the best scorer of the Panamanian national team in the current selection Gabriel Torres scored periodically for “Lausanne-Sport”, however in the current season on account of his zero goals for the Swiss team.


The Costa Ricans had to withdraw in the final tournament of the 2018 world Cup is another very famous coach. Rather, a famous football player, became a coach. Paulo Wanchope – the legend of local football. The forward played and scored for Manchester city long before the arrival of Arab money. And in his career was, “Derby”, “West ham” and “Malaga”.

Since 2010, Wanchope worked as the assistant head coach of Costa Rica Jorge Pinto. In the summer of 2014, Pinto, Creator of the sensational breakthrough in the quarter-finals of the last world Cup, he moved to the national team of Honduras, and took his place exactly Wanchope. However, to the rights of the acting

Unpleasant attachment did not prevent the former striker to lead the team to victory at the Central American Cup in January 2015, Wanchope finally approved on post of chief coach.

But before the start of the qualifying tournament for the 2018 world Cup, the incredible happened. Wanchope came to watch the match youth national teams of Costa Rica and Panama, and saw that the arbitrator makes a wrong decision is not in favor of the home team. The coach is boiling with anger, tried to break into the field and started a brawl with the stewards.

Scandalous legend was dismissed before the start of qualifying and the national team of Costa Rica led by Oscar Ramirez, who worked as an assistant at the headquarters of Wanchope.

Despite the unexpected coaching reshuffle, the Costa Ricans started qualifying strongly. Scheme of qualification in CONCACAF and complicated – it consists of five rounds, but strong teams involved in the fight only on the fourth. At this stage, Costa Rica were in one company to Panama, Haiti and Jamaica, and has won five of six matches and drawing one.

In the fifth round was far more serious – in the same group gathered the best team of the Confederation, but here France started triumphantly. After the predictable victory over Trinidad and Tobago guys Oscar Ramirez defeated USA with the score 4:0!

The protagonist of a match became attacking “Vancouver” Christian bolaƱos. At the end of the first half, he assisted Joanou Venegas, and then scored himself. Then appeared on the pitch Joel Campbell and twice caught the defense of the Americans for children’s errors.

The biggest defeat the US for the past 36 years has resulted in the dismissal of Jurgen Klinsmann. The German coach was replaced by Bruce arena, but he got from the Costa Ricans. In September of this year, they beat the stars and stripes had on their field.

However, some problems in Costa Rica during the qualifying cycle still occurred. In March of this year, they unsuccessfully went to Mexico, and the main anti-hero of the match was Sam keylor Navas. With the score 0:1, he managed to miss such a goal from a corner that even after the tenth viewing until the end is not clear exactly how the ball slipped behind him.

Costa Ricans can apply for a spot in the final tournament the day before, but they were prevented… local weather conditions. The country came a tropical storm, and the match with Honduras had to be postponed to the next day. October 7, the element subsided, and France got a crucial draw in the duel with the team of Jorge Pinto. The Jorge Pinto, who led Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the 2014 world Cup.


The 2014 world Cup, the Americans have performed well: spared Portugal in the group and fight on equal terms with the Belgians in the 1/8 finals. After this success, Jurgen Klinsmann received a carte Blanche from the local Federation, but failed to use it. The problems started a year after the success in Brazil during the home of the Gold Cup CONCACAF, the Americans lost to Jamaica in the semifinals and Panama in the match for third place. Then everything went even worse in the fourth round of qualifying for the 2018 world Cup team, Klinsmann conceded Guatemala 0:2. Four days later, the Americans took a convincing revenge – 4:0 and took first place in the group, but the sediment remained.

The start of the fifth round turned into a pure nightmare – home 1:2 from Mexico and away 0:4 against Costa Rica. After this Klinsmann still get fired, and his place was taken by local legend Bruce arena.

The new coach has managed to transform the American team. The stars and stripes was given a four-match unbeaten run in the qualifying tournament and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, some problems not solved even arena. For example, he never found the optimal combination of defenders. Perhaps because it is not in nature – almost all the players of team USA are in the MLS or the Mexican League. There are still Deandre Yedlin from Newcastle, Tim Rome from Fulham, Geoff Cameron from Stoke, but they are not concrete. In the key match against Costa Rica was just a couple nachinalas Rome – Cameron. From under Urena scored two unanswered goals. So the Americans suffered their first defeat at the Arena and significantly complicated their task of reaching the world Cup.

Yes, the gate team USA still protects the goalkeeper. He is now 38 years old, he stands for “Colorado rapids” MLS and even there doesn’t look impenetrable. Key qualification matches Howard did not commit fatal mistakes but absolutely not rescued. Those Costa Ricans had only two good chances in the September match, and both have implemented.

When this young alternative to Howard no. In the decisive qualification matches, the arena has caused even the two goalkeepers 33 – year-old brad Guzan and 38-year-old nick Rimando. Both of them, like Howard playing in the MLS.

The teams USA authorship Klinsmann and Arena have one thing in common – these teams can’t win on the road. In the fifth round of qualifying, the Americans played 5 games on the fields rivals and scored only 3 points – three times played in a draw. While it could be worse – in a meeting with the Honduras wood is equalized 5 minutes before the end of normal time.

Surprisingly, even one of the reasons for the failure of the home with Costa Rica arena called the… a large number of rival fans at the stadium in new York.

Don’t think that arena is the American version of Mircea Lucescu, but coach USA complained not only on “exit” stands in new York. Another reason for the defeat, he called a special spirit of the teams from Central America with the stars and stripes. According to the version of the Arena, all this because of the new migration policy of States.

– Many people in Central America are very angry because of the recent changes. Matches against the USA, be for the local national teams is particularly important – said arena.

Admittedly, these words are not meaningless. During the Gold Cup CONCACAF players of the national team of El Salvador so fiercely fought with the Americans that… twice allowed to move teeth. Lost all chances of getting to the 2018 world Cup Trinidad and Tobago in the last round, played the match of life against the United States, and Mexicans and Costa Ricans are not too resisted the pressure of the Honduras and Panama.

Perhaps for the first time for team USA stands a player who has the potential to grow into a real star of world football. Talking about the midfielder Dortmund “Borussia” Christian Politice. 19-year-old talent has already started great to help the national team on account of his five goals in the fifth round of qualifying, but to drag all alone, as did Messi, it still does not work. This was particularly noticeable during the home match with Costa Rica when a player was nervous and was replaced in the end. In the match against Trinidad, Politic scored a goal, but his effort to win was not enough.

Sergey YAREMENKO, Sport-Express

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