Panama, Northern Ireland in goalless draw

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Panama City, May 30 (IANS) Amid massive support from the public, mostly dressed in red, the Panamanian national football team played out a 0-0 stalemate against Northern Ireland in an international friendly here.

In a festive atmosphere at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium here on Tuesday night, the home team played well, giving a glimpse of what can be expected from the Central Americans at the 2018 Russia World Cup, reports EFE news agency.

Seventeen minutes into the game, as the Panamanians sought the elusive goal Edgar Joel Barcenas did a header which hit the crossbar and failed to translate into a score.

A lost ball from the Panamanian midfielder put the team at risk when at 29 minutes came a header from Northern Ireland’s Josh Magennis, but which landed in the hands of Panamanian goalkeeper Jose Calderon.

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Between the 34th and 40th minutes the game fell into a rut with strong legwork in the midfield.

In the 41st minute, the lethargy appeared to be broken when Barcenas made a cross from the right that fell for Jose Rodriguez, whose shot was saved by Northern Ireland goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

The second half started slow with twists and turns but lacked a clear dominator in the field.

A clear move by Ricardo Avila at 46 minutes followed an offside one by Blas Perez at in the 54th minute, enraging fans in the stadium.

Between the 55th and 61st minutes, the game slowed down again and in the 81st minute, Roman Torres made a header but the ball went over the goalpost.

–IANS

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