Panama will play host to Mexico as both teams look to advance their World Cup hopes on Friday night at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.
- (Photo: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate)
Mexico currently sits in first place in the CONCACAF World Cup standings and will look to hold on to the lead when facing Panama on Friday.
While El Tri are currently first, they have not been playing well and are lucky other teams in the group have fared even worse.
The team drew 0-0 with Jamaica at home before blowing a 2-0 lead against Honduras in a 2-2 draw. In their third match, El Tri drew 0-0 with the United States. The team's first win came against Jamaica when it beat the Caribbean team 1-0 on Tuesday night.
"We are happy with the result," said Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre after the match. "It has kick-started our campaign. We knew Jamaica is a fast, counter-attacking team, so we started cautiously."
The victory gave Mexico six points, the most of any CONCACAF club competing in the third round. Javier Hernandez leads the team with three goals in the third round.
Panama sits only one point behind Mexico with five points and will look to retake first place in the group. The Panamanians blew a 2-0 lead in their opening game against Costa Rica and wound up settling for a 2-2 draw. In their second game, Los Canaleros tied 1-1 against Jamaica.
The team was able to earn a full three points against Honduras in their third match. Luis Henriquez leads the team with two goals in the third round of qualifying.
"Panama is growing and we need to prove it," said Henriquez to reporters. Panama has never qualified for the World Cup in its history.
Kick-off for the match is at 10:00 p.m. ET and can be watched online here.