FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

23 May - 15 June

Panama PAN

England v Panama: Panama fans enjoy the pre match
© Getty Images

FIFA U-20 World Cup record

Having been absent from the first 13 editions of the tournament, over recent years Panama have become a familiar presence at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, registering a total of five appearances. Their last participation came at New Zealand 2015, where they were knocked out at the group stage following a draw and two defeats.

The road to Poland

Los Canaleros sealed their place at Poland 2019 by finishing second in Group H at the qualification stage of the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Their battle with Mexico for top spot in the group was so tight that, in the end, the Mexicans only advanced to the final by virtue of their superior fair play record. During the initial group stage, Panama had topped Group D with a record of five wins out of five, scoring 17 goals and conceding only three in the process.

The coach

During a playing career that spanned nearly 20 years (1986-2005), Jorge Dely Valdes enjoyed spells in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Japan, the USA and Panama. Having hung up his boots, he then went on to take charge of his country’s U-17 side, leading them at the FIFA U-17 World Cups in 2011 and 2013. He was subsequently appointed head coach of the U-20 team, whom he had already served in 2007 as assistant to his brother Julio Cesar.

The stat

90.1 - The percentage of passes successfully completed by Panama at the regional qualification tournament. Only Guatemala, with 91.1 per cent, could boast a superior pass completion rate to Los Canaleros.

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