CHESTER, PA - APRIL 28: Gabriel Gomez #6 of the Philadelphia Union wraps himself in the flag of his native Panama after scoring a goal in the second half against the San Jose Earthquakes in a Major League Soccer game on April 28, 2012 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. San Jose defeated the Union 2-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
The Panamanian National Team's surprise 2-0 win over Honduras in the first game of its World Cup Qualifying run was done without Gabriel Gomez, who was continuing his attempts to return to match fitness ahead of the country's game on next qualifier.
David Sakata, of Diario Pro, told the Brotherly Game that Gomez was progressing forward with his injury rehabilitation and was supposed to be a game time decision last night. The box-to-box midfielder was held out of the game because Panama did not want to rush Gomez back onto the field.
Gomez tore part of his thigh muscle against FC Dallas last month, when goalkeeper Kevin Hartman came in late and kicked the Philadelphia Union's leading scorer - four goals in 10 games in Major League Soccer play - in the leg. Gomez scored on the play, but was visibly in pain as he ran away from the goal in celebration.
Panama will play Cuba on Tuesday night and Gomez should be available for the game. Currently level with Canada at three points-a-piece at the top of their group, Panama has the opportunity to take six points from its first two games and cement a first place status among a group in which it was predicted to finish third.