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Women's World Cup: Panama Women's Team Profile

Panama Women have qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history and they will kick off their 2023 campaign against mighty Brazil in Adelaide.

Panama, the last of the 32 nations to seal their place at the finals, also face Jamaica and France in Group F and they are 20/1 To Qualify for the knockout stages on their World Cup debut.

Panama's World Cup record:

Panama are making their first appearance at a World Cup finals in 2023, when the tournament is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

They qualified at the fifth attempt after unsuccessful campaigns in 2003, 2007, 2015 and 2019 although they have gained some useful tournament experience at the CONCACAF Women's Championship.

Panama first qualified for that event in 2002, beating Trinidad and Tobago 4-2 in their opening group game before defeats to Mexico and the USA, and they also reached the 2006 finals.

More recently, they made the CONCACAF Women's Championship semi-finals in 2018 after beating Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago in the group stage. They lost 7-0 to Canada in the semis and were beaten on penalties by Jamaica in the third-place play-off.

In other regional tournaments, Panama's best efforts were a fifth-placed finish at the 2019 Pan American Games and third place, winning the bronze medal, at the 2017 Central American Games.

How Panama Qualified:

Panama finished third in Group B at the 2022 CONCACAF Women's Championship, behind Canada and Costa Rica, meaning they missed out on automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup. 

They ended up in Group C of the inter-confederation play-offs, where a 2-0 semi-final victory over Papua New Guinea in Auckland set up a clash with Paraguay in February's final.

A tight contest in Hamilton was settled by a 75th-minute header from Panama substitute Lineth Cedeno, ensuring that they joined fellow play-off winners Portugal and Haiti at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The Manager - Ignacio Quintana:

Ignacio Quintana was appointed manager of Panama Women in 2021. He was born in Mexico City, played football at an amateur level, and coached youth teams at Reforma Athletic Club in his native Mexico.

Quintana has also had a spell as assistant manager for the Nicaragua women's national team but he will be pitting his wits against some far more experienced coaches at the World Cup.

Brazil, Panama's opening opponents in Group F, are managed by Swedish coach Pia Sundhage, who led the USA to gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and was named FIFA World Women's Coach of the Year in 2012.

And France, another of Panama's group-stage rivals, have the well-travelled Herve Renard in charge of them. 

The 54-year-old has managed the men's national teams of Zambia, Angola, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, who he led to a shock 2-1 victory over Lionel Messi's Argentina in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.

Confirmed Panama Squad:

Panama confirmed their 23-player World Cup squad on 22nd June:

Goalkeepers: Sasha Fabrega, Yenith Bailey, Farissa Cordoba

Defenders: Hilary Jaen, Wendy Natis, Katherine Castillo, Yomira Pinzon, Rosario Vargas, Rebeca Espinosa, Nicole De Obaldia, Carina Baltrip-Reyes

Midfielders: Deysire Salazar, Emily Cedeno, Schiandra Gonzalez, Marta Cox, Natalia Mills, Carmen Montenegro, Laurie Batista, Erika Hernandez

Forwards: Karla Riley, Lineth Cedeno, Riley Tanner

Panama's Key Players:

Panama have named a young squad for their World Cup debut and midfielder Natalia Mills and defender Rebeca Espinosa are the only outfield players older than 29.

Mills, who plays her club football in Costa Rica, captains the side and Marta Cox, who has scored nine goals in 19 international caps, is another important figure in midfield.

Cox plays for Mexican club Pachuca and she delivered the free-kick which was headed in by forward Lineth Cedeno for the winning goal in the World Cup playoff final against Paraguay.

The 22-year-old Cedeno has made a bright start to her international career, scoring eight times in her first 14 appearances, and Washington Spirit forward Riley Tanner is another exciting attacking prospect.

Tanner was born in the USA and received her first Panama call-up in January. She made an immediate impact, scoring her first goal in the playoff semi-final victory over Papua New Guinea.

Defender Carina Baltrip-Reyes is one of the few Panama players with experience of European club football, having played in Serbia before moving to her current team, Maritimo, who play in the Portuguese top flight.

Panama's Group Fixtures:

Group F
Brazil vs Panama, Adelaide, 24th July 2023
Panama vs Jamaica, Perth, 29th July 2023
Panama vs France, Sydney, 2nd August 2023

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