CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: Canada hosts Panama, Mexico travels to El Salvador, and more

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: Canada hosts Panama, Mexico travels to El Salvador, and more

Canadian Soccer

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: Canada hosts Panama, Mexico travels to El Salvador, and more

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Concacaf World Cup Qualifying concludes on Wednesday with all eight national teams seeking a positive end to October’s trio of matches.

Canada hosts Panama in the headlining contest of Wednesday’s quartet of matches with both teams seeking to finish the window as high as possible in the standings. John Herdman’s side have tied both of their matches this month and would enjoy a victory on home soil to end their schedule in style.

Panama is brimming with confidence after downing the U.S. men’s national team 1-0 at home on Sunday, moving them into third place. A victory on the road at Canada paired with dropped points for the USMNT at home against Costa Rica could see Thomas Christiansen’s side jump as high as second place.

Octagonal round leaders Mexico closes out its window with a trip to El Salvador, knowing both the USMNT and Panama are just behind them. Tata Martino’s side eventually rolled past 10-man Honduras 3-0 on Sunday and will see a fourth victory out of their opening six qualifiers. El Salvador suffered a 2-1 loss to Costa Rica on Sunday and have only scored three goals in its past seven meetings with El Tri.

Honduras manager Fabian Coito is reportedly set to leave as head coach following Wednesday’s showdown with Jamaica, but three points would be a decent way to leave his role with the national team. Both Honduras and Jamaica are seeking a first win of the octagonal round, with both national teams sitting in the last two places of the table.

Here is a closer look at Wednesday’s Concacaf qualifying matchups:


Canada vs. Panama


7:30 p.m. ET, Paramount +

One point separates Canada and Panama in the group standings ahead of Wednesday’s showdown in Toronto.

Canada faces off with Panama in qualifying for the first time since 2012 and would like to end its trio of matches with a win on home soil. Defensively, John Herdman’s side have been strong in recent matches, conceding only once in the past 270 minutes, but offensively things need to improve. Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies will be the go-to attacking threats for the Canadians at BMO Field.

Panama heads to Canada for the first time since September 2012 and will be full of confidence after a shocking weekend win over the USMNT. Thomas Christiansen watched as Anibal Godoy’s header was the difference on Sunday night in a 1-0 victory, while defensively his team conceded zero shots on goal. Harold Cummings and Fidel Escobar headline the backline for Panama, who will be key in keeping Canada off the scoreboard.


El Salvador vs. Mexico


10:05 P.M. ET, Paramount +, Telemundo

Group leaders Mexico hit the road for its final match of October’s schedule, taking on a stubborn El Salvador side away from home.

El Tri eventually rolled past Honduras at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night and will be favored to get another three points this window. Hirving Lozano and Sebastian Cordova both found the back of the net against Los Catrachos and could return to the starting lineup Wednesday night. Mexico has won its last eight competitive matches against El Salvador, last suffering defeat in 2009.

El Salvador saw an early lead disappear in Sunday’s 2-1 road loss to Costa Rica and now faces its toughest opponent yet. Hugo Perez’s side will need to be discipline at the back to keep Mexico from finding the back of the net in San Salvador. Alex Roldan and Darwin Ceren remain two key pieces of El Salvador’s squad while Jairo Henriquez found the back of the net in Sunday’s loss.


Honduras vs. Jamaica


8:05 P.M. ET, Paramount +

The last two winless sides in Concacaf qualifying square off from San Pedro Sula with aspirations of walking away with an important three points to close the international window.

Honduras welcomes Jamaica to town looking to rebound from a 3-0 loss to Mexico on Sunday. Fabian Coito will reportedly step down as head coach following the match, but will look to lead his team to their first win before leaving. Alberth Elis played 45 minutes off the bench against Mexico, so the Bordeaux forward should be good to start in attack.

Theodore Whitmore’s job is also in jeopardy after Jamaica sits bottom of the table through five matches. Jamaica has found it tough to find the back of the net so far, scoring only two goals in 450 minutes. The absences of Michail Antonio and Leon Bailey this window hasn’t helped the Reggae Boyz’s chances of fixing their lack of scoring, but options like Shamar Nicholson, Kemar Roofe, and others are capable of getting the job done on Wednesday night.

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