Argentina, Panama go head to head for France 2019 berth
Argentina’s last appearance at the finals was at China 2007
Panama seeking maiden qualification
First leg set for Thursday 8 November in Buenos Aires province
The stakes could not be higher for Argentina and Panama who, over the course of five days, will face off home and away for one of the six remaining berths at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Even contesting a World Cup play-off for these respective representatives of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF is already a significant achievement, although neither will be satisfied with just that: the South Americans would dearly love to grace another World Cup 12 years on from their last participation at China 2007, while the Panamanians are hoping to qualify for the first time in their history .
The paths they took to this intercontinental play-off were not dissimilar: Las Albicelestes finished third at the Copa America Femenina Chile 2018, where they ended the World Cup dreams of a strong Colombia side. Las Canaleras, for their part, secured fourth spot at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship USA 2018 , finishing ahead of several teams with more pedigree in the women’s game, like Mexico and Costa Rica.
First leg: Argentina vs Panama, Thursday 8 November, 19:00 local time. Estadio Julio Humberto Grondona
Second leg: Panama vs Argentina, Tuesday 13 November, 20:00 local time. Estadio Rommel Fernandez
Did you know...?
Panama coach Victor Suarez is Argentinian, although he has lived in Panama for more than ten years.
Forward Belen Potassa and coach Carlos Borrello are the only members of the Argentina squad who were at China 2007.
Yenith Bailey, Panama’s 17-year-old goalkeeper, won the Golden Glove at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
From July 2015 until August 2017, Argentina did not play a single international and had no coach.
In the case of a draw over two legs, the away-goal rule comes into play.
The two teams can have up to 23 players in their squads, including three goalkeepers.
The referee for the first leg will be Jana Adamkova from Czech Republic, alongside assistant referees Sonja Rodak (Croatia) and Michelle O’Neill (Republic of Ireland)
All 15,000 (free) tickets for the first leg were snapped up in a matter of hours.