The USMNT rode their luck once more in the first forty-two minutes before the Panamanian team gritted out a hard earned 1-1 draw just before the break on Tuesday night at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. US goalkeeper Tim Howard had to make three superb saves as the US defense wobbled repeatedly, but the stars-and-stripes men were able to overcome tense-circumstances from the Canaleros, who were more physical in the encounter.

The Yanks' veteran striker Clint Dempsey got the opener in the 39th minute after receiving a brilliant pass from Christian Pulisic, who was able to take on two Canaleros defenders in the penalty box before releasing the ball to Dempsey to send home the lead.

However, the lead didn't last long when Gabriel Gomez struck home the equalizer for Panama in the 43rd minute to Make it 1-1 before the half time break. The both teams had several chances to extend the scoreline in the second 45 minutes but were unable to find the back of the net.

Panama were more physical than the US

With several bruising-challenges and nimble digs, Canaleros made no secret of their intention to intimidate and harass their guests on Tuesday night, and it was both Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic who were the prime targets. The two skillful-wide men were brought down two-and-four times respectively, and the officiating referee Cesar Arturo Ramos overlooked plenty of other fouls committed by Panama.

However, Christian Pulisic got the last laugh by setting-up the USMNT's lone goal.

The USMNT's supposed play-makers faulted

The Yanks' head coach Bruce Arena opted for a more experience central-midfield by featuring Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, but the both combined performances in the midfield role did not even reflect their individual quality.

Both were neither comfortable to set up splitting passes with the ball as it left the whole stars-and-stripes men on the field in a reactive posture for much of the encounter.

Arena fulfilled his first two Hex mission

When Bruce Arena took the helm of the USMNT late last year, he said four-points would be necessary from this month's two-Hex matches for the US national team to get back-on-track in their 2018 World Cup campaign.

Certainly, he's mission has been achieved but still need to intensify preparations for the remaining two tough Hex games against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico coming up this June, as there is no room for further stumbles in these two games.

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