• Saturday Sep 02, 2017

    Lozano on target as Mexico tops Panama, qualifies for World Cup

    Mexico’s Hirving Lozano (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Panama in a World Cup qualifier on September 1, 2017, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)/em>

    MEXICO CITY – Mexico (5W-2D-0L, 17 points) sealed a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 win over visiting Panama (1-4-2, 7)  in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying on Friday night at the Estadio Azteca.

    Two minutes after coming off the bench, Hirving Lozano headed home the only goal early in the second half.

    The result means that the Mexicans, who needed to overcome New Zealand in a playoff to qualify for Brazil 2014, can finish no worse than third in the Hexagonal.  They regained sole possession of first place and now hold a three-point advantage over second-place Costa Rica (4-2-1, 14), which beat the United States, 2-0, earlier in the evening.

    Panama’s winless streak in qualifying was extended to six games.  The Canaleros now sit in fifth place, one point behind Honduras – a 2-1 winner over Trinidad & Tobago -- and the USA.

    Lozano netted in the 53rd minute, heading in from six-yards out off a cross from the left side of the box by Jesus Manuel Corona, who did well to maintain possession after a challenge by defender Adolfo Machado.

    Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was in tremendous form, especially in the second half, when he made a series of outstanding saves.

    In the 5oth minute, the Standard Liege custodian dove left to deny Ricardo Buitrago’s free kick.   Twenty minutes later, Ochoa scrambled to the left post to punch away Armando Cooper’s left-sided cross, which appeared to be heading into the net.

    Both sides return to action on September 5, with Mexico visiting Costa Rica and Panama hosting last-place T&T.

  • Champions League

    Related News



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

Honduras expects lift from Figueroa, Elis

Honduras’ World Cup hopes have been boosted by the return of defender Maynor Figueroa and forward Alberth Elis ahead of the intercontinental playoff, second leg against host Australia on Wednesday.

Escober makes key saves; Honduras, Australia draw in WCQ playoff opener

Goalkeeper Donis Escober made a pair of key saves to help host Honduras draw 0-0 with Australia

World Cup Qualifying: Intercontinental Playoffs at a Glance

When Honduras hosts Australia on Friday at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, it will mark the fourth time that CONCACAF will be involved in an intercontinental playoff for a FIFA World Cup berth.

Honduras’ Lozano expects tight series with Australia

Antony Lozano knows that Honduras will have to do the job at home against Australia in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff for a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Honduras’ Acosta targets win at home vs. Australia

Midfielder Bryan Acosta is fully cognizant of what’s at stake for Honduras as the first leg of its 2018 FIFA World Cup intercontinental playoff against visiting Australia on November 10 approaches.