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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Panama held to draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Sep 2013

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Panama have missed the opportunity to move into fourth in CONCACAF’s World Cup standings after a scoreless draw with Jamaica.

With Mexico suffering a shock 2-1 loss at home against Honduras, Panama could have claimed fourth position with victory against Jamaica but they failed to test the visitor’s goalkeeper often enough to triumph.

Panama had 62 per cent possession in Friday’s match at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez and took 15 shots to Jamaica’s seven.

While the visitors failed to hit the target throughout the 90 minutes, Panama hardly did any better with Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts only required to make two saves for the match.

The draw leaves Panama in fifth spot in the standings in CONCACAF’s fourth and final round of World Cup qualifying.

Panama trail Mexico by one point with the latter sitting in CONCACAF’s play-off position, which would require the Mexicans to play New Zealand over two legs for a spot at next year’s World Cup finals.

Mexico led after five minutes at the Estadio Azteca but two goals in three second-half minutes from Jerry Bengtson and Carlos Costly gave Honduras an historic first-ever away victory over the Mexicans.

Honduras’ triumph means Mexico are winless in four home games in CONCACAF’s fourth round of qualifying.

In the other match, Costa Rica defeated the United States 3-1 to claim top spot in CONCACAF’s standings.

Jhonny Acosta and Celso Borges both scored in the opening 10 minutes at San Jose’s Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica and although the USA pulled a goal back just before half-time thanks to a Clint Dempsey penalty, the home side clinched victory through Joel Campbell’s 75th-minute goal.

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