As World Cup hopes take major hit, Panama left wondering "what happened?"

08 October, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The top three nations qualify, and fourth place has a home-and-home playoff next month against Australia or Syria - which plays its home games in Malaysia.

Panama looked shell shocked as the halftime whistle blew, lingering around on the pitch perhaps terrified of the berating they'd take from their coaches in the locker room. However, the possibility of that seems pretty minimal as well, firstly due to the fact that their final two matches are up against Mexico and US and secondly, having a very low goal difference of -11.

Several U.S. players came into the game carrying a caution and thus didn't want to risk committing the type of foul that could prompt a caution and suspension for the Trinidad & Tobago match on Tuesday, but the issue of how to limit the damage inflicted on the young American star is not going away.

With the road to Russian Federation winding down, the United States are still without a ticket to the big show. This time, the complete exact is happening as Mexico have already qualified and United States of America are in an extremely delicate position where even one loss out of their final two games will mean elimination. The US had a legit opportunity for revenge at Red Bull Arena against Costa Rica on September 1st. That this left the Americans' rickety defense protected by a single shield was a calculated risk, one that paid off in a 4-0 obliteration of Panama that has the US back on track to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The World Cup sees fandom of soccer rise, but that growth stalls if the US fails to qualify. The USA had gotten complacent, even foolishly scheduling the game in the NY area, which is heavily populated by Costa Rican fans.

Los Ticos' fate is in their own hands: either a win or a draw against Honduras would be enough for them to secure second spot in the group behind Mexico. The United States is plus-5, Panama is minus-2 and Honduras, which visits Costa Rica on Saturday, is minus-7. But it would result in a two-leg playoff with either Australia or Syria for one of the final spots in Russian Federation.

Arena added that the formation was a "gamble" in that it left Michael Bradley to do the bulk of defensive work in midfield, but " we wanted to push five players forward in the attack as aggressively as we could. He left the prestigious Serie A in Italy for a big pay day in the MLS.

If it were to defeat Panama on Friday, and Trinidad and Tobago four days later, it would nearly certainly have punched its ticket for Russia-with only unlikely scenarios of Honduras making up at least a 9 goal differential in two games remaining a variable. However, this time, they have a pretty fair chance of qualifying as now, they are in the tournament on paper but it may not turn out that way eventually if they mess up in their final two matches against the US and Costa Rica, both of which are pretty tough ones. "And I think we'll have a team ready to play", Arena told reporters, adding that he had given a straightforward message to his players."Win the game", he said. You're hoping to get into October in a position to qualify and only worry about yourself.

Noted Pulisic: "We needed a lot of movement against a physical Panama team that was going to sit in and not make it easy for us".

As goalkeeper Jaime Penedo came off his line, Pulisic used the outside of his right foot again to tap the ball wide and jumped over Penedo's outstretched arm.




"To be honest, he's a player that moves really well, but not only him, but the other players as well moved well around the field, and I think that's what hurt us", said Torres. It's a tactical setup that offered no protection for 36-year-old central defender Felipe Baloy, a Panama and Liga MX legend who did not deserve what happened to him on Friday.

That can be an attractive bit of motivation for small Concacaf teams, however, especially when there is a chance to ding the mighty United States. They played excellent tonight and for us, a bad night.

The United States took a massive step toward qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with a 4-0 victory over Panama on Friday night at Orlando City Stadium in Florida.

"A Mexican commentator said "¬°Gol Estados Unidos! He and Guzan split the June games, with the latter playing in the most harrowing of the 10 qualifiers (at Mexico).

After such a heart-breaking end to their last World Cup qualifying campaign, Panama will certainly be motivated to get the win in Orlando.

El Tri won only two of their 10 hex games in 2014 World Cup qualifying and yet at the WC, they got a draw against Brazil, the World Cup host, and made it to the second round.

He had done enough, though, to almost push his team over the qualifying line.

Johnson won't be in Orlando this week, but the team will undoubtedly be better with DeAndre Yedlin back in the fold after some time out injured, streaking up the right flank and thwacking crosses in.

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