Panama

24th November 2018 – Liga Panamena de Futbol (LPF) (Tier 1) – Costa Del Este 1-2 San Francisco - Attendance, N/A

After at first taking an Uber to the wrong stadium we finally arrived at the National Stadium and it was only $6 per ticket for the second leg of a Panamanian play-off match. The capacity here is about 45,000 but no more than 2,000 fans could have been in attendance that night. Still, they made a lot of noise with both sets of fans bringing a band along to help support their team. We arrived before all this though and were greeted by about 7 different vendors fighting over serving us. One guy was so keen he sat next to us the whole time wanting our business. As soon as the large group of people with musical instruments turned up though he scurried off to join them offering us a wry smile as he departed.

After hearing the Panama National Anthem and observing a minute’s silence (although not sure what it was for due to our lack of Spanish meaning we were unable to understand the public address over the tannoy) the game began. It was a dreadful affair with some bizarre decisions being made on the ball by both sets of players. Most of the game was played scrapping in midfield but on the stroke of half time a San Francisco FC player broke free and put the ball into the net. The fans went wild and so did we as this was our adopted team. We’d picked them solely on the fact they were sponsored by KFC. The second half was just as frantic as San Francisco pushed for more goals. They came into the game 3-1 down but could only pull off a 2-1 win on the night resulting in a 4-3 loss and their dreams of glory in tatters.

Pete Mel