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Concacaf WCQ Rewind: Panama storms back to win, Canada stays in third, and more


Panama was staring a disappointing defeat in the face on Friday night through 70 minutes of play, but eventually fought back to stay in the top four of the Concacaf World Cup Qualifying standings.

Thomas Christiansen’s side scored three goals in an eight-minute span, fighting back to down Honduras 3-2 in San Pedro Sula. Eric Davis’ 85th-minute goal proved to be the winner as Panama remained in touching distance of the top three spots.

Honduras broke through in the first-half as Alberth Elis sprung the hosts in front in the 30th minute, returning to international play in style. Omar Elvir’s through ball assist was slotted home by the Bordeaux forward, giving Honduras a 1-0 halftime advantage.

Brayan Moya’s right-footed strike in the 59th minute doubled Honduras’ lead and put Panama under major pressure with only 30+ minutes remaining.

Panama would not lie down though, pulling a goal back in the 76th minute as Cecelio Waterman finished off a headed pass from Jose Fijardo, giving the visitors a lifeline.

Cesar Yanis equalized for Panama in the 79th minute after Omar Browne played Yanis in towards goal with a through ball. The substitute made no mistake, beating Luis Lopez to the bottom-left corner for a 2-2 score.

Eric Davis swung the match in Panama’s favor in the 84th minute, curling a left-footed free kick into the bottom-left corner and leaving the Honduran faithful frustrated to say the least.

Panama sits on 11 points after the comeback victory while Honduras remains bottom as new head coach Hernan Gomez suffered a loss in his debut with the national team.

Canada 1, Costa Rica 0

(Jonathan David 57′)

Canada remained neck-and-neck with the USMNT and Mexico in the top-three, edging Costa Rica 1-0 in Edmonton for a third qualifying victory of the cycle.

Chances were few and far between, but Jonathan David came up with the goods for John Herdman’s squad. Stephen Eustaquio’s cross in the 57th minute was dropped by Leonel Moreira, allowing David to pounce on the rebound and slot home the eventual winning goal.

Despite having both Jose Ortiz and Joel Campbell back in the starting lineup, the Ticos failed to create much in the final third. Costa Rica finished with only one shot on goal in the match, now sitting five points back of fourth-place Panama after the road defeat.

El Salvador 1, Jamaica 1

(Alex Roldan 90′) – (Michail Antonio 82′)

Michail Antonio’s first goal for Jamaica looked destined to give the visitors a second-straight qualifying win, but El Salvador had other ideas to walk away with one point at home.

Alex Roldan’s 90th-minute equalizer helped Hugo Perez’s side claim a 1-1 home draw, staying level with the Reggae Boyz on six points apiece through seven matches played.

Andre Blake was key for Jamaica, making three prior saves in the match, before eventually seeing Roldan’s last-gasp header sneak into the top-right corner. It was Roldan’s first-career international goal in his 10th cap for El Salvador.

Antonio returned to international action for Jamaica and did not disappoint, coming off the bench to break the deadlock. Kemar Lawrence’s pass upfield eventually saw the West Ham United striker race forward with possession before chipping a shot past Mario Gonzalez.

Jamaica sits in sixth place on goal difference while El Salvador is seventh with a similar 1-3-3 record.


  1. How was the Honduras/Panama match a missed opp? Wde had no control over it. Unfortunate but we missed nothing there. Tuesday is not must win. A point is fine a win is great. Go look at history and see our WC results there.

    As I did the math in a different article. We win our 3 home matches and tie two on the road we r golden. Panama has to play in the US and Mexico. They drop those then they have to win the other 5 to advance over us. The biggest game we have w regards to direct qualies is Panama at home. We win that and their road to top us is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. We are 99% in if we take care of basic/expected business.

    Yes…a tie or loss in the Hondo match would have been much better for us but nothing we could do about it.

    The high of this win will create the usual overestimation of what should happen Tuesday among the emotionally unstable/inexperienced of our base. Never fails. Have u watched Jamaica’s matches? Will be very very difficult…as always….and they now have a game changer up top.

    If we take our home points next window and earn only a tie between J and Canada we will still be in very good shape. In all likelihood we will Pan at home w them having to beat us. I like those odds. If we can get three from J or Canada we r basically in. Yes….a Pan loss in Hondo would have been great but it does not mean we have to win Tuesday. After watching qualies in this region for close to 5 years it would be shocking to see Panama maintain their form also. Even if they do we r in good shape.

    • TK I’m not sure watching concacAf qualifying for five years makes you an expert. Bruce arena had a mantra to win home games and pick up a point on the road, that was 20+ years ago. I can assure you, the shot heard round the world was not a goal to secure a point on home soil, it was a must win road victory against a tiny island nation, known for producing talented strikers, and that was more than 30 years ago. Wow!

      You’re probably to young to remember the great smoke out in RFK pre 98. Rowdy mother f%*+king game. Buddy, if USA are not looking to win on Tuesday and keep the pressure on the 2nd,3rd, and 4th place teams, then I’m truly disappointed.

      Don’t worry TK, with time youll understand where this team has been and what it has gone through to get where it is now. Where this team wants to go is most important, above all else.

      • 50 years my friend. I donated a lot of cash so they could actual;l;y travel to qualies when the fed was a joke and broke

      • TK another thing about being a supporter for only five years is you saw how the USA lost to tNt, and Mexico capitulated late to keep us out of Russia, where as four years earlier with the rolls reversed, USA went down to Panama with nothing to play for, and won, to put Mexico in Brazil. Gratis! That’s a bill we have yet to collect on, and is best kept earning interest, perpetually.

  2. The Honduras loss to Panama was a missed opportunity to widen the gap beteeen 3rd and 4th. And was especially so, seeing how the Catracho’s blew a two goal lead at home. The result makes the USA win that much bigger. Three points are a must for the USA on Tuesday.

    A gift from concacAf sees our game with Jamaica kicking off and concluding before the rest of the region even starts. USA can heap the pressure on everyone else with a big win. Mexico is up in Canada on Tuesday, and we will be happy if they share the points. Hugo Perez takes his team into the Canal Zone and if our American brothers can do us one and ding Panama, we will be grateful, and happy. A win on jam rock, and we at the very least keep a three point cushion over 4th place

    USA kick off the new year with a favorable schedule. El Salvador, and Honduras are our two home games, with a tour up north sandwiched in between. Mexico become our friends in February, as they take on Panama, and turn right back around in March and become enemies, again. We can enter the Azteca in March having already secured a top three place. Winning in Azteca is going to be like a bellwether as to how we can do in Qatar.


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