The Panamanian Soccer League (LPF), in its Apertura 2018 tournament, which came to an end last weekend, with the coronation of Tauro FC, left many things to do, after the first appearance of Panama in a World Cup, but also left some redeemable things that can give you returns.
A new format
The new format of the Apertura 2018 left good feelings. This year instead of classifying the first four to the semifinals, they passed the first two places directly and the other four would play for the other two places.
This extra game qualified Tauro to the semifinals, which eliminated the Alianza F.C., and San Francisco that beat Plaza Amador.
Taurus and their 14th star
Taurus with the title reaches its 14th star in the history of Panamanian soccer. The “albinegros” are a crown away from reaching the maximum winner of Panamanian soccer, Árabe Unido, which has 15 champion trophies in its showcases.
Foreign coach duels
In the semifinal and final the foreign coaches directed in fullness throughout the tournament, precisely Taurus, the champion of the 2018 Apertura tournament, was led by the Uruguayan Saúl Maldonado, while the runner-up, Costa del Este, was led by the Venezuelan Ángel Sánchez.
In the semifinals the duel was between Colombians Sergio "Checho" Angulo with San Francisco and José "Chicho" Pérez with Árabe Unido.
Maldonado, Angulo and Perez, arrived mid semester to rescue their staff.
Edwin Aguilar is again the scorer of the semester of Panamanian soccer. Aguilar, who scored 10 goals in the Apertura, is a striker who has always shown to have a scorer's nose.
The Panamanian, who said he did not pay attention to the scoring titles, achieves his third diadem as a scorer. Aguilar won the gold booty in 2007 because he scored 14 goals at the Apertura, at the 2009 Apertura he made 17 and in this semester he scored 10.
Lack of support
This semester the few public trend continued in the stadiums, not even the national classic, between Tauro and Plaza Amador, left good balances at the box office. On many occasions the league reports showed that more courtesy tickets were being given, than those charged at the box office.
The possible strike
In the middle of the 2018 Apertura tournament the players demanded improvements in the treatment and payments of the protagonists.
The first division players, supported by the Association of Panamanian Soccer Players (Afutpa), put the directive between a rock and a hard place, when they gave an ultimatum to respond to a list of requests, otherwise there would go on strike, said strike included the Panamanian national team.
In the end they reached an agreement, which led the national team to fulfill their commitments and finish the tournament.
The 2018 Apertura tournament left several figures. Jesús "Chuito" González, a Tauro midfielder, made it clear that he is an export player. Gonzalez was the Taurus engine. "Chuito" will continue his career in Mexico.
Another Taurus player who heads his way to Europe is Adalberto Carrasquilla, who leaves the Tauro to test at Espanyol in Barcelona. They were both members of the Panamanian national team.
Edson Samms and Guido Rose, from San Francisco; Omar Browne, of the Club Atlético Independiente and Jair Catuy, of Santa Gema, also had a remarkable semester.
The return of "Bam Bam" Siclair
Ernesto Sinclair, player formed in the Chilean Colo Colo, was about to leave soccer, after he had no team in the Panamanian Clausura, after his return from Mineros de Guayana.
The Costa del Este, the newly promoted second division team, rescued him, midway through the semester and the player was key scoring seven goals.
The debutant impressed in the first division
Costa del Este played its first semester in the Panamanian division of honor, being the most consistant team. The “costeños” were the team with least goals against in the Apertura and the one that offered the best offense in their outings to the pitch. The so-called small team gave a fight in the final against Tauro, who defeated them in 120 minutes of play.
Gustavo Chara, the best foreigner
Colombian defender Gustavo Chara, who plays for Tauro F.C., was the best foreigner in the tournament. Chara, who started with some discomfort, was settled in the rear of the Tauro team, which in the end made the defensive adjustments, having the South American as his best man.
Chara also scored a goal in the semifinals, which ultimately helped his team defeat Árabe Unido in their way to the final.