Wales 1-1 Panama: Armando Cooper's late goal denies hosts victory
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 15/11/17 6:22am
Armando Cooper's last-gasp goal denied Chris Coleman's young Wales side victory over Panama in a 1-1 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday night.
Nathan Ampadu, David Brooks and Ben Woodburn all impressed as they started the international friendly which Wales dominated for the most part.
Sam Vokes saw his penalty saved by experienced Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo in the opening 45 minutes, and Wales then continued to push for the game's first goal.
They got it in the 75th minute through Derby midfielder Tom Lawrence, who scored a fine solo effort to grab his second international goal. But the hosts were denied victory as Cooper slotted in from close-range to ensure Wales' calendar year ended with a draw.
Wales: Ward (5), Gunter (6), Chester, (5) Davies (6), Taylor (6), Ampadu (7), Edwards (6), Brooks (7), Lawrence (8), Woodburn (7), Vokes (5)
Subs: Bradshaw (6 ), Lockyer (6), Evans (6), Crofts (6), Watkins (6), Hedges (6)
Panama: Penedo (7), Murillo (6), Baloy (7), Escobar (6), Ovalle (4), Vargas (6), Heraldez (5), Cooper (7), Avila (6), Perez (6), Torres (6)
Subs: Vargas (6), Diaz (7), Buitrago (6)
Man of the match: Tom Lawrence
Brooks, Lawrence and Woodburn set Coleman's side on the front foot with Woodburn's header acting as the first warning sign before Vokes fired wide from range moments later.
Lawrence was next from Wales' youthful forward line to go close as he skipped by Felipe Baloy before seeing his shot to the near post parried away by goalkeeper Penedo.
Ben Woodburn, Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks all started in a side skippered by Chris Gunter, who equalled Gary Speed's 85-cap record for an outfield player.
And Penedo continued to be Wales' villain. Luis Ovalle lunged into David Edwards in the box but the 36-year-old goalkeeper showed strong reflexes to tip away Vokes's low, driven spot-kick five minutes from half-time.
Wales' continued to dominate possession but Panama missed a glorious chance to take the lead early in the second half. Gabriel Torres broke into a one-on-one and nutmegged Danny Ward before losing his balance which allowed Wales captain Chris Gunter to hack clear on his 85th cap.
Wales' persistent pressure would eventually pay off as Lawrence broke the deadlock in the 75th minute. He cut through the Panama defence on a winding solo run before he placed his shot into the bottom corner to hand Wales a deserved lead.
But Panama would have the last laugh as Cooper scored in added time. He played a neat one-two with substitute Ismael Diaz before slotting the ball past Ward to dampen the spirits of Coleman and the home support.
Man of the Match - Tom Lawrence
Lawrence's fine performance in a central attacking midfield role ensured his fellow young compatriots could play with just as much attacking confidence and fluidity.
The 23-year-old did an excellent job of combining with Brooks and Woodburn, while his superb solo goal marked a performance he can be proud of.