The Panama vs Honduras match will be held on Friday, October 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM EDT at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Panama will be looking for a win over Honduras that guarantees them a spot in the final round of the CONCACAF Qualifiers. Honduras isn’t eliminated with a loss, but a win or draw would greatly increase their chances of earning a ticket to the hexagonal round. Will Panama complete its great run in Group C with a win against Honduras?
Panama has been outstanding through four matches so far: three wins, five goals scores, one loss, and only one goal allowed. The wins include an impressive away victory at Honduras, and two wins at home against Cuba and Canada. Furthermore, Panama still has the advantage of closing Group C play against an already eliminated Cuban team in Havana on Tuesday. If Panama were to lose against Honduras, all it would have to do is defeat a Cuban squad that has lost all of its games and is yet to score a goal.
Even with the safety net that Cuba represents, Panama is sure to look for the win against Honduras at home, and celebrate the ticket to the hexagonal round in front of their home crowd. Panama currently has nine points, Canada and Honduras each have seven, a win against Honduras or Cuba automatically qualifies them to the next round.
Honduras had a bit of a rocky start, losing at home against Panama 2-0, and drawing in Toronto 0-0 against Canada. Honduras picked up the pace by defeating Cuba in back-to-back matches by a combined score of 4-0. Honduras currently has seven points with a +2 goal differential, while Canada also has seven points with a +0 goal differential. Thanks to the goal difference, Honduras could still lose against Panama, and defeat Canada at home and earn a berth in the final round.
However, Honduras will be looking to at least get a draw against Panama, this would guarantee that a home win against Canada would result in a pass to the final round, regardless of how the goal differentials look on match day 6. Of course, a win puts Honduras in a great spot, and a home draw against Canada would likely be enough to earn at least the second placed spot in Group C.
Prediction: The Panama vs Honduras match will be a great contest between a Panamanian side that has played well throughout the qualification process, and a Honduran side that has recovered after a bit of a rocky start. I expect that since this game is not a win-or-be-eliminated for either side, it won’t be as spectacular as other matches we will see in CONCACAF qualifying this Friday (El Salvador vs Costa Rica). Honduras will play a defensive style, and would be happy with a draw. Panama will be forced to attack, but won’t risk too much going forward as a draw is also a satisfactory result for them. The Panama vs Honduras match will end in a 1-1 draw that will force Honduras to defeat Canada at home, and gives Panama half a ticket to the final qualifying round.
Television: The Panama vs Honduras match will be televised this Friday, October 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM EDT on beIN Sport en Espanol.