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WCQ: Mexico Win Over Panama Clinches Trip To Russia 2018

Hirving Lozano Mexico
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 01: Hirving Lozano of Mexico celebrates after scoring the first goal of his team during the match between Mexico and Panama as part of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers at Estadio Azteca on September 1, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) Purchase a license Standard editorial rights Custom rights What are Standard Editorial Rights? SML 3100 x 2067 px | 10.33 x 6.89 in @ 300 dpi | 6.4 MP Size Guide $575.00USD ADD TO CART Details Restrictions: No commercial uses without permission. Contact your local office.Not Released (NR) Credit: Manuel Velasquez / Stringer Editorial #: 841717634 Collection: LatinContent WO Date created: September 01, 2017 License type: Rights-managed Release info: Not released. More information Source: LatinContent WO Object name: stla275975 Max file size: 3100 x 2067 px (10.33 x 6.89 in) - 300 dpi - 3.24 MB

Despite hours of rain leading up to the match, Mexico took on Panama in the Estadio Azteca for a chance to seal their way to Russia next June. Panama, on the other hand, needed points in the clash and needed them bad. The game started heavily in Mexico’s favor, which was not surprising, as they dictated possession while Panama absorbed as much attack as they could. Although there were no goals in the first half, Mexico was looking like it could get the goal they needed.

After a sluggish first half, Jürgen Damm was taken off, and Hirving Lozano came into the match. It took only minutes for his impact to be huge for Mexico. In the 53rd minute, Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona fought for the ball in the Panama area, turned, and found Lozano for the goal they were searching for.

The man from PSV carried his goal scoring streak with his club over to the national team. The lone goal was enough to claim the victory over Panama, and Mexico is officially booked for the World Cup in Russia next June. The pressure from the previous cycle was never felt with this team, and now Juan Carlos Osorio can use his October matches to tinker and experiment with new formations/players.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Player grades

  • Ochoa, 9: Panama didn’t threaten a lot, but Ochoa slapped away all their chances with his typical flair.
  • Ayala, 6: Didn’t need to do much which bodes well for his stock when they review the game.
  • Reyes, 7: Closed down Panama’s attacks and brought the ball up with confidence.
  • Araujo, 6: Sloppy passing in the first half, but recovered as the game went on.
  • Damm, 5: Way too predictable, needs to work on his 1 v 1.
  • Herrera, 7: Gassed out towards the end, yet, his quality was shown throughout the 90 minutes.
  • Guardado, 6.5: Constant pressure was great to see, but his offensive presence was missing.
  • Gallardo: 7: Somewhat of a quiet match for Gallardo, however, he did his job well.
  • Vela, 5: Picked apart by Panama’s defense too many times. His lack of playing time with his club showed big time.
  • Tecatito, 8: Fought hard throughout the match, and his assist was pure gold.
  • Chicharito, 6: Had a few good looks, but as Mexico’s leading scorer, his presence needed to be more threatening.

Subs

  • Lozano, 9: Scored a goal almost instantly, Man of the match, without a doubt.
  • Montes, N/A
  • Aquino, 5: You can’t miss a wide open shot only a few yards from goal.

Mexico will take on Costa Rica on the road on Tuesday, September 5. There are reports that some of the European club players will make their way back abroad since the ticket to Russia is now clinched.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news and updates on all things El Tri & Liga MX. Stay connected on FacebookTwitterInstagram and subscribe to our YouTube page.

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