Panama's Gabriel Torres (left) celebrates after scoring against visiting Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier on September 2, 2016, in Panama City. (Photo: FIFA.com)
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Panama (3W-1D-1L, 10 points) became the fourth team to secure a place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, scoring a goal in each half to earn a 2-0 win over visiting Jamaica (1-1-3, 4) on Friday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Earlier in the evening, first-place Costa Rica (4-1-0, 13) clinched advancement from Group B with a 1-0 win at Haiti (0-0-5, 0). The Costa Ricans will host Panama on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional to determine the group champion, while 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup runner-up Jamaica and Haiti – both officially eliminated from contention – will also meet that day.
The host took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, when Alberto Quintero released Gabriel Torres into the left side of the Jamaican box. In stride and from seven-yards out, Torres struck a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Andre Blake, who went low in a bid to make a save.
Abdiel Arroyo netted an insurance goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.
Panama posted its third consecutive shutout in qualifying to progress to the Hexagonal for a second straight time.