Fri, Aug

Panama's captain Roman Torres (on the left): We need to make T&T respect us.

An air of confidence surrounds Panama as the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup resumes on Friday with matchday three.

The third-place Canaleros (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) will visit fifth-place Trinidad & Tobago (0-0-2, 0) on March 24 and then host the sixth-place United States (0-0-2, 0) four days later at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

Wins against the bottom two sides would certainly boost Russia 2018 aspirations, but defender Roman Torres doesn’t want the difficulty of the task to be underestimated.

“We are focused on getting the six points,” said the 31-year-old, who has played in two of the Seattle Sounders’ first three games to open the 2017 season. “They are tough matches. We have to do what we have been working on and not get overconfident.

“They are two opponents that have lost their first matches. My prediction is six points, but the matches have to be played.”

With T&T first on Friday, Torres made mention of the threat posed by the Caribbean power’s attack, particularly Seattle teammate Joevin Jones and Atlanta United striker Kenwyne Jones.

“It’s a difficult match. It will be a match in which Panama has to be very focused and keep a clean sheet,” Torres emphasized. “Trinidad & Tobago has their qualities. They have fast players. We cannot get overconfident. We should be concentrated and make them respect us.”


Panama confirms WCQ roster changes

Panama has made three changes to its World Cup Qualifying roster ahead of Friday’s encounter at Trinidad & Tobago.

In three media releases issued on Wednesday, the Federación Panameña de Fútbol announced that the defender Fidel Escobar was released from camp due to disciplinary reasons, forward Blas Perez will miss the T&T trip due to an injury and, as a result, defender Roderick Miller has been called into the squad.

The 36-year-old Perez suffered a grade 1 strain to his left thigh during a training session Tuesday and will undergo treatment rather than travel to Port of Spain.

Miller, who plays with Colombia’s Atletico Nacional, is expected to arrive in Panama later on Wednesday evening.

Head To Head Record


Panama  1-2  Trinidad and Tobago, Oct, 2015   
International Friendly - In Panama

Trinidad and Tobago  1-1  Panama, Jul 19, 2015   
CONCACAF Gold Cup - In USA - (Panama win 6-5 on penalties).

Panama  1-0  Trinidad and Tobago, Mar, 2015   
International Friendly - In T&T

Panama  3-0  Trinidad and Tobago, Sep, 2010   
International Friendly - In Panama

Panama  0-1  Trinidad and Tobago, Mar, 2009
International Friendly - In T&T