Panama vs. Peru  1 - 2

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International Friendly: Panama 1 Peru 2

2 June 2013 01:44

Peru warmed up for their World Cup qualifier against Ecuador with a 2-1 friendly win over Panama on Saturday.

After a goalless first half at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Peru opened the scoring through Alianza Lima attacker Yordy Reyna five minutes into the second half.

Panama did not lie down, however, and they hit back when Rolando Blackburn found the back of the net with a header from a corner on 73 minutes.

Both sides took the opportunity to rotate their line-ups, with Panama making five substitutions and Peru six.

In the end, it was an 84th-minute strike from Cristian Benavente that wrapped up the win for Sergio Markarian's team, who now return to Lima for Friday's qualifier against Ecuador.

Panama, meanwhile, host Mexico in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Panama City on Friday.

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International Friendly Preview: Panama v Peru

29 May 2013 11:18

Panama midfielder Gabriel Gomez will become his country's joint second most-capped player if he runs out against Peru on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has represented Panama 84 times and could join former international defender Jose Anthony Torres on 85 caps, although Gomez will remain well adrift of Ricardo Phillips, who played 108 matches for Panama between 1996 and 2009.

But with Panama on track to qualify for next year's FIFA World Cup and with time on Gomez's side, the midfielder, who is on loan at Colombian club Atletico Junior from Philadelphia Union in MLS, has a big chance of overhauling Phillips' record.

Gomez, alongside star strikers Blas Perez and Luis Tejada, will be vital to Panama's hopes of victory against Peru when the two sides clash in Panama City.

Panama head coach Julio Dely Valdes will be hoping the friendly international will properly prepare his side for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers versus Mexico (June 6), the USA (June 11) and Costa Rica (June 18).

With three rounds of matches completed in CONCACAF's final section of qualifying for Brazil 2014, Panama top the standings with five points.

If Panama can stay in the top three positions they will qualify for their maiden World Cup, while the fourth-placed nation will play a two-legged play-off against New Zealand for a berth at the finals in Brazil.

By contrast, Peru are struggling as they attempt to reach their first World Cup finals since 1982.

Peru sit seventh in the South American (CONMEBOL) qualifying standings after 10 matches and have two qualifiers coming up in June; a home clash with Ecuador and a trip to Colombia.

To reach Brazil 2014, Peru must finish in the top-four of the CONMEBOL standings or take fifth and best the fourth-best Asian nation in a two-legged play-off.