MX23RW : Friday, December 14 17:55:08
Nov 14, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Lawrence (75')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Cooper (93')

Live Commentary: Wales 1-1 Panama - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Wales's 1-1 draw with Panama, as the Dragons were left frustrated by their World Cup-bound opponents.
Live Commentary: Wales 1-1 Panama - as it happened
© SilverHub

Wales were denied victory in what could be manager Chris Coleman's final game in charge as World Cup-bound Panama snatched a 1-1 draw in Cardiff.

Armando Cooper struck in the third minute of added time to cancel out Tom Lawrence's earlier strike, leaving the home supporters dejected come the full-time whistle.

There were plenty of positives for Coleman, however, who handed a number of players their international debuts with an eye on the future, which he may or may not be a part of.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

7.15pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the international friendly meeting between Wales and Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Dragons have an eye on the future this evening as they look to bed in some younger players, while the visitors are preparing for next summer's World Cup finals in Russia, having scraped through the CONCACAF qualifying system in the final round of fixtures last month.

7.17pmWales boss Chris Coleman vowed to give some of his younger players a chance to impress tonight, with preparations already underway for the 2020 European Championship campaign. It remains to be seen whether Coleman will be around for the start of the qualifying process, however, as he is still yet to put pen to paper on a new contract and talks will not resume until later this week. Anyway, let us get straight into things by checking out some confirmed team news...


STARTING XI: Ward; Gunter, Chester, Davies, Taylor; Ampadu, Edwards, Brooks, Lawrence, Woodburn; Vokes

SUBS: Hennessey, Maxwell, Williams, Allen, King, Crofts, Evans, Ledley, Lockyer, Bradshaw, Watkins, Hedges

7.21pmStarting with a look at the home side, Coleman has made a total of six changes from the 2-0 defeat to France on Friday night. As expected, Ben Woodburn, Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks all come in for their first senior starts at international level; the latter two landing just their second caps, having impressed from the bench in the second half at the Stade de France. Woodburn is a little more experienced, featuring for the Dragons on five previous occasions.

7.23pmLiverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward also comes in for a rare start, having impressed the last time he was used from the off - the 2-1 win over Slovakia in Wales's opening Euro 2016 fixture. Ben Davies shuffles into central defence alongside James Chester, meanwhile, meaning that Chris Gunter - captain for the day, on what is his record-equalling 85th cap for an outfield player - and Neil Taylor will occupy full-back berths as Coleman reverts back to a four-man defence.

7.25pmDave Edwards and Tom Lawrence are the other two fresh faces from last time out, with Wayne Hennessey, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Joe Ledley, Andy King and Ashley Williams all dropping out. Ramsey is not in the squad at all, incidentally, having been given the green light to return to club side Arsenal at the weekend, while star man Gareth Bale has missed out on the last two squads due to a persistent leg injury.


STARTING XI: Penedo; Ovalle, Baloy, Escobar, Murillo; Avila, Heraldez, Cooper, Vargas; Perez; Torres

SUBS: Calderon, Vargas, Sanchez, Buitrago, Chen, Gonzalez, Davis, Stephens, Nunez, Diaz

7.29pmPanama boss Hernan Dario Gomez took the unusual decision of naming his starting lineup 24 hours early, so there is no surprises when taking a glance at the team sheet. This is an experienced side in terms of caps, with 574 throughout the side, although six members of the starting XI have made 20 appearances or less. Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who plies his trade for Dinamo Bucharest, helps bring up that figure as he has made well over 100 outings for Los Canaleros.

7.31pmGabriel Torres, who is nicknamed the Little Ghost and plies his club trade for Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland, will lead the line for the visitors this evening, playing just ahead of Blas Perez. Plenty of experience throughout the side on the whole, then, and it must be remembered that this is a group of players that will be competing in Russia seven months from now - competition for places is fierce!

7.33pmRegardless of that surprise result at the San Siro last night, Wales will be the highest-ranked European nation not at next summer's World Cup finals. Three wins on the bounce in Group D qualifying helped them turn their campaign around and set up a straight shootout with Republic of Ireland here almost a month ago to the day, which they came out second best in. James McClean proved the different in that one, with a below-par Dragons side being left dejected.

7.35pmThat loss to Ireland ultimately proved decisive when the points were added up, but it was five draws in a row midway through the campaign that really cost Wales - most of those after taking the lead, too. It is now back-to-back defeats, meanwhile, as they went down 2-0 to France in Paris on Friday night. The match itself was fairly entertaining, though mainly because Les Blues had such an array of talents on show.

7.37pmColeman certainly had some positives to take away from that most recent outing, though - a rare friendly for Wales, as they tend to avoid playing non-competitive fixtures to help with their FIFA ranking. The introduction of Ampadu, Woodburn and Brooks an hour into the match - all starters tonight - helped temporarily turn the game in the Dragons' favour and the visitors could well have snatched a draw from a match they were second best in almost throughout.

7.39pmThis friendly is all about looking ahead to the future, of course, with those three aforementioned players in particular helping to get supporters into the ground tonight. Around 16,000 thousand expected at the Cardiff City Stadium for this one - exactly half the amount who turned up here to watch Ireland claim a 1-0 win in early October. Hardly the highest-profile of visitors, although it is Panama who will be at the World Cup in 2018.

7.41pmLos Canaleros, ranked 49th in the world, qualified for their first World Cup with a controversial late goal against Costa Rica last month to finish above Honduras and USA. Ironically, late goals cost Panama against the United States four years ago, so the manner of their 2-1 victory against Costa Rica would have been all the sweeter. Indeed, a public bank holiday was called in the wake of that triumph, showing just how much it means to this Central American nation to reach the biggest tournament of them all.

7.43pmWith kickoff at the Cardiff City Stadium now just a couple of minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Chris Coleman: "It can't be pressure on them, it's brand new to some of them. They've shown enough to tell us they belong here and are capable of playing on this stage. It's the start for them, they have to keep working hard because they've not done done anything yet, but shown good signs and are playing against a side that has qualified for the World Cup."

Hernan Dario Gomez: "Regardless of the result against Iran, I am satisfied with my team. In the second half, we played a very disciplined style and dominated the match. Panama had problems in the first half but we improved in the second half and could equalise the match."

Wales manager Chris Coleman on the touchline during his side's World Cup qualifier with Serbia on November 12, 2016© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! Wales, showing six changes from that friendly defeat in Paris, looking to return to winning ways at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight. Five members of the Panama starting lineup today featured from the off in their historic qualifying win over Costa Rica last month.

3 minA proud moment for Gunter leading out Wales tonight, marking his 85th appearance for the national side with the captain's armband. A mixed-looking XI on the whole as far as the Dragons are concerned, containing plenty of youth but also some experienced pros.

5 minGreat link-up play between Brooks and Woodburn, with the former picking out his teammate in the box with a cross-field pass. Woodburn got a decent cross towards the near-post, where an offside Vokes saw his shot blocked away.

7 minSAVE! Woodburn has certainly seen a fair bit of the ball in these early stages, but his chipped delivery into the box has far too much on it for Taylor and ended going straight out of play. Panama barely had a touch of the ball so far. Brooks's cross then met by Woodburn, whose header is saved.

9 minJaime Penedo, with more than a century of caps under his belt, did not exactly have to break a sweat to keep out that Woodburn header. Regardless, it was a smart attempt at the end of a good cross from Brooks, not to mention a defensive block from fellow youngster Ampadu in the build-up.

11 minSHOT! Good clearance from Chester to prevent Torres from getting on the end of a right-sided cross. First time we have seen World Cup finalists Panama in an attacking sense today, as the Dragons have been on top from the kickoff. Vokes shoots just wide.

13 minA near-miss from Vokes and a headed attempt on target from Brooks - Wales have arguably done enough to deserve an early lead in Cardiff. Not quite sure what Panama's gameplan is at the moment, as they are giving their opponents far too much time and space.

15 minPanama were beaten 2-1 by Iran in their most recent outing - a friendly that took place in Graz, Switzerland. they have not really got going so far this evening, but a sloppy Gunter header has given them a corner from nothing.

17 minWard, making his first start since the Dragons' opening game of Euro 2016, collects the corner with ease. Hennessey's place does not look to be at too much risk at international level for now, with Ward struggling for playing time at club side Liverpool.

19 minA short stoppage in play for Armando Cooper to receive some treatment. Brooks is really enjoying himself down the right, taking the ball under control but then lacking composure with his shot, which he blasts into the side-netting from a tight angle.

21 minAvila with some incredible footwork down the left, which leads to Edwards taking him out to concede a free kick. No doubt that Wales have had the better of the opening quarter of the match, without really making the most of their dominance.

23 minYELLOW CARD! A first start and a first yellow card for Ethan Ampadu. The Chelsea youngster did rather lunge in on his opponent so, despite getting a slight bit of the ball, that was the right call from Belgian referee Bart Vertenten.

25 minCHANCE! Superb footwork from Lawrence to get away from one man and then a second, but a heavy touch inside the box allowed a Panama defender to get across and cut the ball out. Would have been a world-class goal had he gone all the way.

27 minThe only thing missing from this bright Wales display is a goal. Woodburn, Lawrence and Brooks have been the best attacking players on the field so far, each coming close to finding a way through. Wales's latest cross in the box ends in disappointment as Edwards pulled back on his man.

29 minWales still the side on top at the Cardiff City Stadium, being urged on by 16,000 or so supporters this evening. Taylor forays forward but, unlike on that glorious night in Toulouse 17 months ago, he hammers the ball well over the crossbar.

31 minSix subs available for Coleman and Dario Gomez to make this evening, incidentally, so we can expect a fairly stop-start nature to the second half. A full-flow Wales in this first half; not so Panama, who are struggling to get out of their own half.

33 minSHOT! Gabriel Torres was not involved in the opening half-hour of the contest, but he has just had half a chance to fire his side ahead. After cutting in from the left, he sent a shot over the frame of the opposition goal from 22 yards.

35 minHalf time now 10 minutes away and we are awaiting the first goal of the contest. A more evenly-balanced feel to the match over the last three or four minutes, with Panama now committing bodies further up the field in search of a goal.

37 minThe Dragons struggle to clear their lines and, after Edwards got a slight touch to the ball, Leslie Heraldez was there to smash the ball over the crossbar. The visitors the side looking the brighter all of a sudden in South Wales.

39 minWales just need to find their feet again after going a little flat over the last five or 10 minutes. Brooks did well to wriggle out of a tricky situation with the ball at his feet, but his shot was headed behind in front of the visitors' goal.

41 minShocking attempt from Lawrence, whose shot ended high in the stands to kill off the Dragons' growing momentum. Coleman will be happy enough with his side's display so far, but we have so far seen just the one shot on target at both ends combined.

43 minPENALTY TO WALES! Blas Perez with a fairly decent attempt, which Ward had covered as he dived down the his left - no touch needed to help it wide. Wales then get forward and, after Edwards was brought down by Luis Ovalle, the penalty was awarded.

44 minPENALTY SAVED! Hugely disappointing as, minus Ramsey and Bale, Vokes steps up to take the penalty. Not the worst attempt you will ever see, but the vastly experienced Penedo was down to his right to push it aside.


8.37pmThe two sides head down the tunnel all square at the end of a goalless opening 45 minutes. Even before the penalty, which Sam Vokes squandered, Wales will argue that they had done enough to take the lead in this final international fixture of 2017. Panama have largely sat back, with their only attacking threat coming from long-range shots.

8.40pmWales, led out by Chris Gunter this evening on his 85th appearance - equalling the late Gary Speed's record for an outfield player - enjoyed far more of the first-half chances. David Brooks and Ethan Ampadu both settled well on their first senior starts, with the former picking out a delightful cross for fellow youngster Ben Woodburn to head goalwards. The vastly experienced Jaime Penedo was well positioned to keep it out at the front post, though, in what proved to be a rare attempt on goal at either end of the field.

8.43pmA Sam Vokes shot was then sent flying over the bar from 22 yards out, while Tom Lawrence was let down by a heavy first touch inside the area after doing well to get away from two players in the build-up. Panama's best spell in the first half came around 35 minutes in, with Gabriel Torres and Blas Perez both sending shots wide, but Wales really should have been ahead before the interval.

8.45pmLuis Ovalle stuck out a leg to send David Edwards to the ground, though Sam Vokes - one of the more experienced home players - was unable to get the better of Dinamo Bucharest keeper Penedo from the resulting penalty kick. Six changes available to both managers at the midway point, remember, so we may well see some tinkering in time for the second half.

WALES SUBS: Hennessey, Maxwell, Williams, Allen, King, Crofts, Evans, Ledley, Lockyer, Bradshaw, Watkins, Hedges

PANAMA SUBS: Calderon, Vargas, Sanchez, Buitrago, Chen, Gonzalez, Davis, Stephens, Nunez, Diaz

Wales midfielder Joe Ledley in action during his side's World Cup qualifier with Serbia on November 12, 2016© SilverHub

46 minRESTART! Two changes made by Coleman ahead of the second half, with Tom Bradshaw and Tom Lockyer - the latter making his senior debut - coming on for Sam Vokes and Ben Davies. An even more inexperienced group, but one that the home fans will hope can get the job done.

48 minLawrence and Brooks have not taken long to get going again in this second half, coming close to linking up in the opposition half. Another batch of subs likely to be made come the hour mark of this international friendly.

50 minBrooks gets in behind down the left, with his cross then helped behind for a corner. A half-decent delivery from the youngster, too, which Edwards heads high and wide near the front post. Wales just starting to build some momentum again.

52 minYELLOW CARD! Woodburn really does look a special talent, doing his man for pace, power and even skill. Armando Cooper is not happy and has a word or two to say, leading to the referee reaching into his pocket for the second time this evening.

54 minBLOCK! Brilliant defending from Gunter, who was initially at fault. Torres races in behind after Gunter stood still and waited for the offside flag to go up, but a heavy touch allowed Ward to save and then the Reading full-back to slide in and block the next shot.

56 minThat was Panama's first chance of the evening and one that Torres really should have been burying. A warning to Wales, who looked very bright at times in the first half but have not really got going in the opening 11 minutes of this second period.

58 minYou get the feeling that Panama would take a goalless draw if offered to them - they are ranked 35 places below their opponents in the FIFA rankings, after all. Not a lot between the two teams since they emerged for the second half.

60 minWe have hit the hour mark in Cardiff, which could mean more substitutions are imminent. David Brooks is one of those likely to make way, as club side Sheffield United are in action against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium three days from now.

62 minWALES SUBSTITUTE! Fidel Escobar quite clearly barges Bradshaw off the ball inside the box, but the referee felt otherwise and let play continue. Another Wales debutant now - Lee Evans on for David Edwards, with 28 minutes to go.

64 minBit of a bland second half, truth be told. Not a great deal of chances over the last 20 minutes and, at this rate, Wales will rue that missed penalty from Vokes in the first half when they were on top. Panama happier with the scoreline.

66 minPANAMA SUB! Evans lays the ball off for Brooks in some space, but he can only curl the ball well over the bar. Panama make their first chance, taking off Gabriel Torres and bringing on Deportivo La Coruna B player Ismael Diaz up top.

68 minSUBS! Panama win themselves a corner, which is easily dealt with by Bradshaw at the front post. Los Canaleros have just made their second change - Avila being replaced by Vargas for the remaining 22 minutes of this so-far goalless affair in Cardiff. Ampadu is also replaced by Crofts.

70 minCHANCE! Wales's best chance of the second half as Chester rises highest to meet Woodburn's corner, which he can only head wide of the target when left unmarked. Get the impression that this one is destined to end goalless.

72 minWALES SUB! Marley Watkins is the latest debutant to be introduced, coming on in place of Brooks; Woodburn also makes way, with Ryan Hedges - you've guessed it, a debutant - being given a brief run out at the Cardiff City Stadium.

74 minA cross into the Panama box is horribly sliced behind for a corner which, yet again, comes to little. Wales have struggled to create much of anything in this second half but, on the basis of the 74 minutes as a whole, they deserve to be in front.


76 minLawrence bags another international goal for Wales and, while this one is not as important as his strike in Georgia earlier this year, it was equally as impressive. The Derby man weaved in from the left and tucked the ball out of Penedo's reach.

78 minPerez so nearly in on goal but Ward read the danger well and pounced on the ball. The game has well and truly opened up as Bradshaw and Hedges, both of Barnsley, very nearly combined in the opposition box. Panama now having to attack.

80 minTen minutes to go and it is now a case of Wales protecting this slender lead, given to them by Lawrence. It will very much be a case of job done for the Dragons, who have used tonight's game to use a batch of youngsters in their final outing of 2017.

82 minYELLOW CARD! Andre Crofts, similar to Ampadu in the first half, goes in a little too heavy on his opponent and is rightly cautioned - the third yellow card of the match. Wales finding more gaps to break into now as Panama push forward.

84 minSAVE! Hedges pulls the ball back into a dangerous position but none of his teammates could convert inside the box. Crofts latches on to the rebound and tested Penedo with a real belter, which would have taken the net off!

86 minYELLOW CARD! Card count beginning to rack up now, as likely matchwinner Lawrence enters the referee's book for pulling back on his opponent. Perez has been replaced for the World Cup-bound visitors; Stephens on in his place.

88 minYELLOW CARD! Gunter is hurt in a challenge down the right-hand side, but it is he who is cautioned as his boot was a little high. Hardly been a feisty game but each of the five yellows have been deserved, as we approach the 90-minute mark here.

90 minBrooks named Man of the Match here on his full debut - the right call, as he was really bright in the first half in particular. Almost a first goal in Wales colours for Bradshaw, who could not quite keep the ball under control.


90+3 minPanama equalise deep in added time through Cooper, having exposed the Wales backline to get in behind and beat last man Ward. Real disappointment for Wales, with just 60 seconds left on the clock to find a winning goal.


9.49pmA frustrating night on the whole for Wales, then, as they are held to a 1-1 draw at home to Panama. Tom Lawrence's strike 15 minutes from time looked to have won it, only for Armando Cooper to find a leveller in added time and stun the Cardiff City Stadium.

9.51pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Cardiff. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while a recap of all the night's other international results can be viewed here. Thanks for joining!

Share this article now:
Chris Coleman leads a Wales training session on March 22, 2016
Read Next:
Gunter begs Coleman to stay on as Wales boss

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account