- Argentina claim healthy first-leg lead over Panama at home
- Disastrous end to the match for the visitors in front of large crowd
- Panama with a mountain to climb in Tuesday’s return
Argentina have one hand on a spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ after a strong 4-0 win over Panama in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
Inspired by a lively 11,500-strong crowd at the home of Arsenal Sarandi, Argentina turned on a dominant first-half showing with goals in quick succession midway through the half from Mariana Larroquette and Eliana Stabile.
It could have been even worse for Panama but teenage goalkeeper Yenith Bailey underlined her reputation with an impressive penalty save from experienced forward Estefania Banini on ten minutes.
Pushing for their first Women’s World Cup appearance since 2007, Argentina were unable to continue their momentum in the second period with only limited goalscoring opportunities at either end.
However, Panama lost their composure as the match drew to a close allowing Argentina to net injury-time goals from firstly Yamila Rodriguez, and then Eliana Stabile from the penalty spot.
Panama, who have never featured in a Women’s World Cup, will also be without Katherine Castillo and Lineth Cedeno for Tuesday’s second leg in Panama City after both received late red cards.