Panama coach Gomez feels exposed after team 'stripped naked'


Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez was left apprehensive about his team's prospects at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after seeing them "stripped naked" in Wednesday's (AEDT) friendly against Switzerland.

The fiery Colombian gave a frank assessment of Panama's performance in the 6-0 defeat, saying it had left him with doubts about their chances of putting on a dignified display on their World Cup debut in June.

"The difference here was too much - we were stripped naked, they exposed all our weaknesses." Gomez said.

"We are still a long way from European football."

The Panama side which took the field in Switzerland included five players who ply their trade in Major League Soccer and one each based in Belgium, Romania, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Honduras.

Their opponents boasted five players from the Bundesliga, one from the Premier League, one in Serie A and one in Ligue 1, plus one each based in Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey.

If it looked like a hopeless mismatch on paper, it turned out to be just that on the pitch and Gomez refused to pull any punches afterwards with his only consolation being that it did not happen on the World Cup stage.

"It happened today against quicker, more technical, stronger opponents who were better than us in every sense," he said.

Yet just a few months ago, the same group of players were being praised for securing a first ever World Cup appearance by finishing above the United States in the final stage of CONCACAF qualification.

Source Reuters