CHRIS Gunter’s special night ended with honours even on an entertaining evening in the November drizzle at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Newport-born defender captained an inexperienced side to a 1-1 draw with World Cup qualifiers Panama on the night he equalled Gary Speed’s 85-cap record for an outfield player in Wales colours.

And former Newport County AFC midfielder Lee Evans made it a memorable night for the city as he won his first cap as a substitute.

Tom Lawrence got the Wales goal 15 minutes from the end before Armando Cooper levelled deep into injury time in what could well turn out to be Chris Coleman’s final match in charge.

The national manager will resume talks with the Football Association of Wales this week over a new contract.

And the fans made their feelings clear on the matter in the opening stages as they serenaded the boss.

“We want you to stay, we want you to stay; Chrissy Coleman, we want you to stay,” sang the crowd and the manager gave them a wave of acknowledgement from the touchline.

If it is to be his last match in charge, it was a suitable way to sign off as the youngsters showed just how bright the future can be for Welsh football.

On this evidence, however, the excitable Panama fans will make a bigger impression than their players in Russia next year.

The Central American side rarely threatened the Welsh goal until the death in Cardiff.

It was the hosts’ brightest young prospects who immediately caught the eye with all three combining to fashion Wales’ first real chance in the sixth minute.

Ethan Ampadu won possession on the right flank and David Brooks whipped in a dangerous cross but Ben Woodburn's header was straight at Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo at the far post.

Sam Vokes then fired just over from 25 yards out before Brooks’ shot found the side netting.

South Wales Argus:

A mazy run into the box from Lawrence (above) looked as if it might produce the first goal but he lost control before getting his shot away.

And Brooks went close again but his fierce effort was headed behind for a corner by Panama's Fidel Escobar.

Panama's Gabriel Torres and Blas Perez both went close from distance but neither tested Ward.

The breakthrough should have come on 41 minutes when the brilliant Brooks played in David Edwards, who was felled in the box by Luis Ovalle.

But Vokes’ poor penalty was easily saved by Penedo to leave everyone wondering if Gunter should have heeded the fans’ calls for him to take the spot-kick.

The second half started in bizarre fashion as Wales stopped defending, assuming an offside flag would be raised, and allowed Torres through on goal.

Only a brilliant recovery block from Gunter stopped a certain goal after the Panama striker had rounded Ward.

But most of the action was in the technical areas as a raft of substitutions from both sides disrupted the flow of the contest.

Not that Evans and family will care about that.

South Wales Argus:

The Exiles academy graduate's big moment arrived in the 62nd minute (above) as he replaced Edwards to finally make his senior debut more than three years after first being called up by Coleman.

Evans looked assured in central midfield as Wales pushed and probed for the goal their display deserved.

And it finally arrived on 75 minutes as Lawrence, the only attacker not to be replaced, cut in from the left flank and curled in an unstoppable shot from just inside the area.

It should have been the winner but Panama snatched a draw with almost the last kick as Cooper swept the ball past Ward in the fourth minute of time added on to put a small blemish on the night.

Wales: Ward; Gunter, Chester, Davies (Lockyer, 46) Taylor; Ampadu (Crofts, 68), Edwards (Evans, 62); Brooks (Watkins, 71), Lawrence, Woodburn (Hedges, 71); Vokes (Bradshaw, 46)

Subs not used: Hennessey, Maxwell, A. Williams, Allen, King, Ledley

Referee: Bart Vertenten (Belgium)

Argus star man: David Brooks