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Paddy McNair and four other talking points from Northern Ireland's draw with Panama

 

Panama 0-0 Northern Ireland [photos] Close

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland bench during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland bench during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama police dog on the pitch during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama police dog on the pitch during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland bench during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland bench during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama servicemen during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama servicemen during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Felipe Baloy with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Felipe Baloy with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Felipe Baloy with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Felipe Baloy with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart and Gareth McAuley at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart and Gareth McAuley at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans is exhausted at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Shayne Lavery

Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Shayne Lavery

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin in action against Panama last year.

Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin in action against Panama last year.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Ryan McLaughlin during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Shane Ferguson in action during Northern Ireland's tour to Central America earlier this summer.

Shane Ferguson in action during Northern Ireland's tour to Central America earlier this summer.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

 Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

 Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Valentn Pimentel with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Valentn Pimentel with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Valentn Pimentel with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Valentn Pimentel with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Jose Luis Rodrguez with Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Jose Luis Rodrguez with Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Panama's Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

 Northern Ireland's Jordan Thompson during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jordan Thompson during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Jose Calderon and Luis Ovalle with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Armando Cooper with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Armando Cooper with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Armando Cooper with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Armando Cooper with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Jose Luis Rodrguez with Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Jose Luis Rodrguez with Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Luis Tejada with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Gabriel Gomez with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis  during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Gabriel Gomez with Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama's Edgar Yoel Barcenas with Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama's Edgar Yoel Barcenas with Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Panama's Fidel Escobar with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Panama's Fidel Escobar with Northern Ireland's Liam Boyce during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland players line up to face Panama.

Northern Ireland players line up to face Panama.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Panama with Northern Ireland during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill before Wednesday night's International friendly against Panama.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill before Wednesday night's International friendly against Panama.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill before Wednesday night's International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill before Wednesday night's International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

A band plays before Wednesday nights International Friendly with Panama and Northern Ireland at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye A band plays before Wednesday nights International Friendly with Panama and Northern Ireland at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland kitmen Stephen Ferguson and Raymond Millar during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland kitmen Stephen Ferguson and Raymond Millar during Wednesday nights International Friendly at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with Panama last night in the Estadio Rammel Fernandez - but what were the main talking points to take from the game?

Paul Ferguson was there - here's his take on the first game of Northern Ireland's Central American tour:

1. Panama's spectacular farewell party

The Panamanians know how to throw a going away party.

Their heroes are playing in their first ever World Cup finals when they travel to Russia next month and they were determined to give them a memorable send-off.

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Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

A band plays before Wednesday nights International Friendly with Panama and Northern Ireland at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye A band plays before Wednesday nights International Friendly with Panama and Northern Ireland at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye A band plays before Wednesday nights International Friendly with Panama and Northern Ireland at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.
 

You had to be there to believe it inside the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

Think Las Vegas mixed in with the razzmatazz of the Super Bowl.

It was a truly spectacular event with the passionate and emotional Panama fans, decked out in their red national team shirts, adding an amazing atmosphere to proceedings. 

No expense was spared as we were treated to three separate firework displays, a rock concert at half time, a full scale marching band and the unravelling of Panama's national flag that nearly took up the fully length of the pitch. Banners and streamers brought sensational colour to proceedings.

There were mixed gender cheerleaders at half time while the families of the players stood with them for the anthem, which of course was sung with great gusto by the capacity crowd and a live singer.

The football actually got the in the way of a great party and one thing is for sure – the  Panamanians are immensely proud their team are going to the World Cup. I can only imagine the party they would want to throw should they actually pick up a win in Russia.

2. Paddy McNair outstanding in midfield

Come September and the start of the inaugural Nations League, Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill may face a midfield conundrum.

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Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Paddy McNair was Northern Ireland's stand-out player against Panama.
 

Paddy McNair, with his man of the match performance on Tuesday night in Panama, has certainly staked his claim for a placed in the middle of the park.

And on last night's evidence it will be hard to dislodge him. He produced a terrific performance with his surging runs, neat passing, strong tackles and combative nature. Paddy was constantly looking to get involved in the action and it's no surprise that he scored four goals in Sunderland's last five games.

Paddy is so versatile, especially as a defender, but he's argued for sometime that he would like to be playing in midfield. O'Neill will agree and it just adds to the depth at his disposal in midfield when captain Steven Davis, George Saville and Ollie Norwood return along with Corry Evans.

Gareth McAuley was outstanding but McNair gets the nod ahead of Big G for the man of the match award.

3. Can Panama shock England?

Panama will play with plenty of passion, desire and aggression but it's unlikely to be enough for them to spring a surprise in Russia.

England, when they face Panama in their second World Cup group game, shouldn't have any trouble against the Central American nation while Belgium, in their opening match, could score a high number of goals against them.

Panama are a team who like to attack but, as proven on occasions last night, they can be caught out when they press high and they have the oldest squad at the tournament. Individual errors will cost them dear too and be exploited.

Against European sides in recent international friendlies Panama have played in a more defensive formation, ready to hit teams on the counter attack but against England they may not see much of the ball.

They also need to be careful when it comes to discipline. They became frustrated last night and tried to dish out their own justice. That will not be tolerated in Russia.

But to stand a chance of causing an upset they must keep XI players on the park and hope England or Belgium have a terrible match. Then leave it up to big Ramon Torres to score the winner from a set piece header.

Northern Ireland's Green and White Army on tour in Central America [Photos] Close

Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City. Pic: PressEye William Cherry

Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City. Pic: PressEye William Cherry

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 03rd June 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Sunday mornings International Friendly against Costa Rica at the Nuevo Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Corry Evans gives his shirt away to a young fan at the final whistle of Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evening's International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Northern Ireland fans ahead of Tuesday evening's International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fan Megan Lewis ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fan Megan Lewis ahead of Tuesday evenings International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans before Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Stuart Dallas pictured in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Stuart Dallas pictured in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the team hotel in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the team hotel in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by IFA/Presseye

Northern Ireland players during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by IFA/Presseye Northern Ireland players during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair and Stuart Dallas pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair and Stuart Dallas pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players Liam Boyce, Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players Liam Boyce, Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by IFA/Presseye

The Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City where Northern Ireland will take on Panama in Wednesday nights International Friendly.     Photo by IFA/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by IFA/Presseye The Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City where Northern Ireland will take on Panama in Wednesday nights International Friendly. Photo by IFA/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Josh Magennis and Gareth McAuley during Northern Ireland's trip to central America last year.

Josh Magennis and Gareth McAuley during Northern Ireland's trip to central America last year.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Conor McLaughlin pictured at the team hotel in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Conor McLaughlin pictured at the team hotel in Panama City on the first day of their summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes at the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Paul Smyth pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Paul Smyth pictured during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill  during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Hazard during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Hazard during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland players Liam Boyce, Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland players Liam Boyce, Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans visit the Panama Canal on Monday morning as part of their summer tour to Panama and Cost Rica. The Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans recovers after the heat of Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans recovers after the heat of Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 26th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Sunday afternoons training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City on the first day of their summer tour.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill with Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill with Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Monday evenings training session at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

 

4. Giving youth a chance

Northern Ireland had four players on the pitch in Panama City who were playing for the under-21s four months ago.

Three players, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Jordan Thompson and Shayne Lavery were handed their senior international debuts on Tuesday night while little Paul Smyth earned his second cap.

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Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Shayne Lavery

Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Shayne Lavery

©William Cherry / Presseye

Panama's Roman Torres with Northern Ireland's Shayne Lavery
 

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill wanted to integrate these players into his side and Panama provided excellent opposition for him to do that. It wasn't until the second half that he felt able to do this but none of the four youngsters looked out of place. Paul Smyth was constantly trying to run at his full back and even we he was thwarted, he never stopped trying.

Leeds United's young keeper Peacock-Farrell looked assured in goals when he took over from Motherwell's Trevor Carson while there is plenty of promise from Thompson and Lavery.

But there was also an opportunity for the fringe players of the squad to get a run out and Ryan McLaughlin, Shane Ferguson  and Lee Hodson all coped admirably.

5. Northern Ireland fans are just as proud as Panamanians

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Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th May 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland fans during Wednesday nights International Friendly against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City.
 

Over 100 Northern Ireland fans were in attendance inside the Estadio Rommel Fernandez and they were determined to join in the party.

Reaching Panama and this two match Central American tour is certainly not cheap, likely to cost in the region of £3,000 when you factor in 10 days of expenses. But the diehard fans roared on the men in green from their small section surrounded by a sea of red. And then when the match was over they could be found in bars close to ground celebrating and joining in the fun with the Panamanians.

The Northern Ireland players made sure they acknowledged the fans at full time and will now hope their support can inspire them to an even better performance against Costa Rica on Sunday.

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Our coverage of Northern Ireland's tour to play Panama and Costa Rica is brought to you in conjunction with BetMcLean.

Our coverage of Northern Ireland's tour to play Panama and Costa Rica is brought to you in conjunction with BetMcLean.

Our coverage of Northern Ireland's tour to play Panama and Costa Rica is brought to you in conjunction with BetMcLean.
 

Belfast Telegraph