Day 3 (Group A): Panama shows the rest of the region that they are contenders by defeating the U.S. Plus both Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago got their first victories of the tournament.
By Jorge Belon, Managing Editor
The new upcoming soccer nation Panama proved on Sunday that they are a force to be reckoned with, as they defeated the United States 1-0 at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Panama, Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago have now placed their World Cup lives in their own hands. That leaves Aruba, United States and the host nation Jamaica on the brink of elimination.
Game 1: Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 Aruba
Scorers: (T&T) Jabri Mitchell 3rd minute, (T&T) Aikim Andrews 16th minute, (T&T) Kadeem Corbin (Penalty) 29th minute, (T&T) Karl Muckette 58th minute, (T&T) Jabri Mitchell (Penalty) 78th minute and (ARU) Duncan Homoet 90th+2nd minute.
It did not take long for the Soca Warriors to get their offense rolling as Mitchell scored the first goal in the 3rd minute with a cool calm tap in. After that Aruba chased the shadows of T&T for the rest of the game. Trinidad and Tobago managed to score five goals out of the 13 shots fired.
Aruba would manage to get their first goal of the tournament at the dying stages with Homoet showing great technique and creativity. But it would be too late to make an impact on the game.
For the Soca Warriors they will be looking to continue the pressure on first place Panama by defeating third place Guatemala on Wednesday at Independence Park. As for Aruba, they will be facing a U.S. team that needs a big victory for morale, so chances are that Aruba will be at the wrong end of another result on Wednesday. This match will also be played at Independence Park.
Highlights for the match provided by CONCACAF, http://youtu.be/jq4OIn0cH-w.
Game 2: USA 0-1 Panama
Scorer: (PAN) Carlos Small 78th minute.
Another game slipped by the Americans as they had multiple opportunities to score and possibly put the game away, but instead they failed to convert their 10 chances.
With the game still scoreless, Panama only needed one brilliant moment to punish the Yanks. Substitute Small would be that punishment; he controlled the pass with his chest in the penalty box and sent the ball into the back of the net to give Panama the victory.
The Canaleros sent a loud message across the region by defeating the mighty Yanks on Sunday. Now they will need to focus and attempt to defeat Jamaica on Wednesday at Independence Park to keep a strong hold on the group and their World Cup lives. As for the U.S. they will be facing Aruba on Wednesday at the same location, and they need a victory.
Highlights for the match provided by CONCACAF, http://youtu.be/7P-8KparX7c.
Game 3: Jamaica 0-1 Guatemala
Scorer: (GUATE) Stheven Robles Ruiz 27th minute.
After getting a rare draw against the U.S., the Chapines faced the Jamaicans and took control of the game quickly. The Central Americans silenced the crowd early in the match with a spectacular goal from Robles Ruiz.
After receiving a long range pass from the right hand side of the field, the young forward chipped the ball over the defender and into the penalty box. He then gathered his footing and found the composure to place the ball into the net with the Jamaican goalie quickly closing his angle.
For the rest of the game the Chapines blew opportunities to extend their lead, but the Reggae Boyz also failed to generate any serious threatening chances.
Now the host nation will need to rebound quickly or else their World Cup dreams will slip away. On Wednesday they will host current group leaders Panama at the Independence Park. The turnaround must begin there.
As for Guatemala they will face second place Trinidad and Tobago. A victory won’t qualify them to the World Cup but it will get them one step closer.
Highlights provided by CONCACAF, http://youtu.be/mhtp1Krxuhw.
Tomorrow matches: Group B is going to be in the spotlight on Monday and all six teams will be in action at the Montego Bay Spots Complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Cuba and Honduras will be a match of two teams attempting to rebound after a disappointing first match. With Cuba having a negative eight-goal differential and Honduras blowing a two-goal lead late, a victory is well needed for both teams.
El Salvador will be searching for their first victory over Haiti. Their dramatic comeback against rivals Honduras on Saturday should give them confidence to defeat Haiti. As for the Haitians, while they need to rebound after their 3-1 defeat against Canada on Saturday, the Salvadorians might prove to be too much.
However, the big game of tomorrow is Canada vs. Mexico. Both teams were victorious in their first match and they currently tie for first place with three points. Mexico is expected to beat the Canucks with ease. But if the Canadians can defeat or draw Mexico, it will be the biggest upset in this tournament and possibly the nation’s history.