After dully beating Bermuda by a score of 5-1, the Mexico National Team will take on Panama in their second match of the CONCACAF Nations League.
As always seems to be the case with the Mexico National Team, much of the narrative surrounding El Tri has been about what goes on outside the field. Whether by real desire or by imposed obligation, after seemingly an eternity the Mexican Federation has finally taken a hard-stance on the famous “chant”, and there is a real risk the game could end with an automatic Panama victory.
Of course, Panama doesn’t need any of these things to beat Mexico. Coached by former Toluca manager Americo “Tolo” Gallego, Los Canaleros have been one of the most improved sides in the region through the course of the last decade. Moreover, as opposed to Mexico, they arrive with practically their A-squad, and it’s worth remembering they have caused El Tri plenty of problems in the past.
That said, on paper Mexico are still seen as heavy favorites. While El Tri struggled to get going early against Bermuda, they should be afforded plenty of the ball against a Panama side that will no doubt sit back. In particular, it will be interesting to see how Gerardo Martino’s game in between lines fares versus an opponent that will most likely leave very few spaces to expose.
At the end, no matter what course this match eventually takes, Mexico have a duty to show an example both on and off the field. The big question now is will they up to the task?
Date: Tuesday, October 11
Time: 6:30pm Pacific, 8:30pm Central, 9:30pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: UniMás (US-Español), TUDN USA (US-Español), Azteca 7 (Mexico), TUDN (Mexico), TVMax 9 (Panama)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com