FRISCO, Texas -- Goalkeeper Yenith Bailey is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday night when Panama faces off against Jamaica in the third-place match of the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship at Toyota Stadium.
Bailey, 17, was one group-stage sensations, but coach Victor Suarez decided to sit her in the 7-0 semifinal loss to Canada on Sunday as a precautionary measure. She had a shoulder injury as Farissa Cordoba performed in her place.
"We knew the game against Canada would be tough and very exhausting," Suarez stated. "She will be ready to play this game. We didn't want to take a risk on it. That's why we gave her some rest because we wanted her to be ready for the next match, especially because Canada was going to do a lot of crosses. We wanted to make sure she didn't injure herself and get worse."
Las Canaleras should be well rested as Suarez gave five regulars the night off against Canada.
They will try to emulate their men's national team, which qualified for the World Cup for the first time in Russia this year. Only one other Central American team has reached the FIFA Women's World Cup -- Costa Rica (2015).
The loser will have one more opportunity to qualify for France -- in a special playoff against Argentina in November.
"We're not thinking about Argentina right now," Suarez said. "We have another match on Wednesday and could make history because we have been growing in this tournament. The players would like to make some history."
To put the Canada defeat in the past, the team will have to work hard, not unlike what it did after dropping a 5-0 decision to the United States in the group stage, Suarez said. Panama recorded a 2-0 triumph over favored Mexico to reach the semifinals.
"We have to keep fighting, even though in Panama, they didn't believe what this team could achieve,” Suarez concluded. “They proved it here. It will be up to the players if they are willing to come out of this. It will be more emotional on how they recover their own way."