Mexico made it two wins out of two as they downed Panama 3-1 on Tuesday night. The victory moves Mexico into sole possession of first place in Group B, while Panama and Bermuda remain tied on three points.
Panama was hoping to provide a steeper test than Bermuda did this past Friday, but Mexico looked comfortable from the start. After enjoying the majority of possession, El Tri took the lead in the 28th minute through Roberto Alvarado, whose shot from the top of the box made it 1-0 for the hosts.
The group stage of the CONCACAF Nations League continues this week with Mexico hosting Panama in Group B play.
Mexico had their first game in the competition this past Friday, where they beat Bermuda 5-1 away. That was enough to put El Tri in first place in the group based on goal difference; Panama and Bermuda split their series last month, leaving all three teams with three points.
Mexico will now look to take definitive control of the group with a home victory in this one.
Mexico’s World Cup roster may have had the lowest-ever percentage of domestically-based players, but Liga MX will still boast 22 Russia-bound representatives.
Eleven Liga MX teams and one from Ascenso MX will be represented in the World Cup, where their players will suit up for seven different national teams: Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina, Panama, and Japan.
Mexico remained unbeaten in World Cup qualifying and mathematically guaranteed their spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 victory against Panama on Friday night. The loss saw the Canaleros drop into fifth in the Hex.
The first half saw El Tri dominate possession but fail to do much with it. José Calderón had little to do in goal for Panama as Mexico struggled to put their chances on frame. Halftime rolled around with the game still 0-0 and with antsy fans beginning to whistle and boo.
Mexico is unbeaten in World Cup qualifying and they’ll look to continue that streak when they host Panama in the Estadio Azteca this Friday. El Tri currently tops the Hexagonal with 14 points from six games, and a win against Panama could seal their spot in next summer’s event, depending on the result of Trinidad and Tobago vs Honduras.
As for Panama, they currently sit fourth – in the intercontinental playoff spot – with seven points. The Canaleros have scored just four goals in their six games to date, and they’ll be facing the stingiest defense in this one; Mexico has allowed just two goals in the Hex, both against the United States.
The roster is missing some familiar names, with Oribe Peralta and Carlos Salcedo injured and Rafa Márquez dealing with his legal troubles. Miguel Layún, who is having trouble finding minutes with Porto, is also a notable absence. On the other hand, Jesús Manuel Corona is back on the roster after “Tecatito” missed the Confederations Cup for personal reasons.
Mexico and Panama both remained unbeaten in the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after playing out a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night.
The weather and field conditions made things a bit difficult but it was the home team who looked better throughout the match. Mexico was unable to string together a second straight away victory while Panama will be somewhat disappointed not to have captured all three points.
After defeating the U.S. 1-2 in Columbus in their first game of the Hexagonal, El Tri will hit the road again as they face Panama in the second game of the Hex.
The Panamanians are also coming off an away victory, after they beat Honduras 0-1 in San Pedro Sula on Friday. The Canaleros will now look to build on that victory with a good result in their first home game, although Mexico will undoubtedly provide a tough test.