Roman Torres (left) has appeared in two games during Panama's qualifying campaign for Russia 2018. (Photo: Luis Licona/Straffon Images)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – An air of confidence surrounds Panama as the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup resumes on Friday with matchday three.
The third-place Canaleros (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) will visit fifth-place Trinidad & Tobago (0-0-2, 0) on March 24 and then host the sixth-place United States (0-0-2, 0) four days later at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Wins against the bottom two sides would certainly boost Russia 2018 aspirations, but defender Roman Torres doesn’t want the difficulty of the task to be underestimated.
“We are focused on getting the six points,” said the 31-year-old, who has played in two of the Seattle Sounders’ first three games to open the 2017 season. “They are tough matches. We have to do what we have been working on and not get overconfident.
“They are two opponents that have lost their first matches. My prediction is six points, but the matches have to be played.”
With T&T first on Friday, Torres made mention of the threat posed by the Caribbean power’s attack, particularly Seattle teammate Joevin Jones and Atlanta United striker Kenwyne Jones.
“It’s a difficult match. It will be a match in which Panama has to be very focused and keep a clean sheet,” Torres emphasized. “Trinidad & Tobago has their qualities. They have fast players. We cannot get overconfident. We should be concentrated and make them respect us.”