The Mexico vs Panama Hexagonal match will be played this Friday, October 11, 2013 (6:30 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. This is it. With only two games left for Mexico to play in the CONCACAF qualifiers, this is arguably the biggest match in recent Mexican soccer history. El Tri currently sits in fifth place with just 8 points, Panama has the same amount of points but a better goal differential. To put it plain and simple, if Mexico loses this match, the once undisputed giant of the CONCACAF will not go to the World Cup.
Under the helm of Chepo de la Torre, Mexico experienced its worst World Cup qualifying campaign in the past 20 years. With just two matches remaining, Mexico will be forced to defeat Panama and at least draw against Costa Rica in order to secure the 4th placed spot that guarantees the intercontinental playoff against New Zealand. A draw against Panama would leave Mexico in the precarious position of having to depend on other results in the last round of Hexagonal games. A loss knocks them out of the World Cup.
Victor Manuel Vucetich was given the difficult task of taking over El Tri and saving them from the awful qualifying campaign. For the past couple of weeks, Vucetich has been training Monday through Wednesday with the seleccionados that play in the Liga MX. European based players arrived this week. Vucetich has stated that he will play an offensive, yet balance style.
Nonetheless, Vucetich has made no mention of what formation he will use, which players will start or be on the bench, nor even which 3 players will be cut out from the team. Given the extremely important nature of the match against Panama, Vucetich has decided to keep everything under wraps until the last minute. Will we see Corona or Ochoa? Will Rafa Marquez be the captain? How many midfielders will he field? WIll Chicharito, Peralta (or both) be the starting forward? All Mexican fans will have to wait until Friday to see what formation and squad Vucetich will use.
For their part, Panama, coached by Dely Valdes, has been training in Miami for the past couple of weeks, knowing that a loss at the Azteca would end their World Cup aspirations. Panama knows that Mexico, which is yet to win at home, is not invincible. They will give it their all to achieve a historic Aztecazo. Nonetheless, the Canaleros will be facing a revamped Mexican National Team with a new coach and several new additions to the squad that will be looking to save Mexico.
Mexico vs Panama Prediction
The Mexico vs Panama match will be intense. Both squads know that a misstep might very will lead to the elimination of their squad. The Estadio Azteca will be absolutely packed with fans hoping to see the first Hexagonal home victory for El Tri. It is now or never for Mexico, a win is the only option.
Look for Vucetich to line up an offensively styled squad that will look to dominate possession and create several scoring opportunities. Panama will focus on defense (i.e. Park the bus), and look to counter attack, just like Honduras did in their Aztecazo. In the end, Mexico will come out victorious. It will not be easy, but the Mexican players will earn this key win. The Mexico vs Panama match will end in a 2-0 victory for El Tri.
Mexico vs Panama TV Schedule
The Mexico vs Panama World Cup qualifier will be televised this Friday, October 11, 2013 on Unimas at 6:30 PM Pacific.
Mexico vs Panama Highlights
The Mexico vs Panama highlights will be uploaded soon after this key match ends.