With the upcoming matches of June set as the halfway point of the CONCACAF Hexagonal schedule, Panama has jumped atop the CONCACAF standings after its 2-0 win over Honduras at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City.

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ Final (Hexagonal) Round 

Final Round  Group & Standings

 

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

Pts

Panama

3

1

2

0

5

3

5

Costa Rica

3

1

1

1

4

3

4

USA

3

1

1

1

2

2

4

Honduras

3

1

1

1

4

5

4

Mexico  

3

0

3

0

2

2

3

Jamaica

3

0

2

1

1

3

2

The 2014 Hex has the creme of the CONCACAF region's crop competing for a chance to finish in the top 3 spots to qualify for World Cup Brazil and the competition is as keen as I expected. After three games only one win (3 points) separate Panama the group leaders from Jamaica at the bottom of the table.

 

To appreciate the closeness of the race is to recognize that five of the six teams have already drawn games while enjoying home field advantage and four teams have registered one win apiece. As the pre-tournament favorite Mexico is the biggest surprise to this point.

 

Coach Jose Manuel De La Torre and his Mexico team is yet to negotiate a way out of the basement after drawing its first three games while playing two at home at the Azteca Stadium. There is no reason to doubt that Coach De La Torre is under some heat with Mexico next two games on the road to Jamaica and Panama.

 

While words such as shocking and surprise are being used in headlines in regards to Panama surging to the top of the Hexagonal standings after its 2-0 win over Honduras, my story is not of astonishment but whether Panama could maintain its composure and form since there was never any doubt in my mind about their talent and capabilities.

 

As for the previously unbeaten Honduras team there is really no excuse for conceding a goal in the second minute of play while playing on the road. With upcoming games in Costa Rica and Mexico, Los Catrachos will be best advised to get focus on the task at hand or become a non factor for the three automatic spots out of CONCACAF for Brazil.

 

It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough usually gets going and after opening the Hex with a loss in Honduras, the Americans beat Costa Rica in a snowy conditions in Kansas City and neutralized Mexico in order to leave Azteca Stadium with a scoreless draw. It was only their second qualifying point ever in Mexico

 

Much has been said about the validity of the playing conditions during the Costa Rica-USA game but from my vantage point whether the game is replayed or not, the outcome will be the same if not more in favor of USA in. Of the six teams in the Hex, USA is the only team which has not faltered at home although they literally play some of their home games without the 12th man advantage.

 

That was not the case for Costa Rica which needed some warm to erase the memory of the chilling 1-0 loss to USA in snowy Kansas City. Before a capacity crowd at their National Stadium El Tocos defeated Jamaica 2-0 to jump back into the race. 

 

The Reggae Boyz have only themselves to blame for not capitalizing on home field advantage after having Panama on the ropes in the first half at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The home field trend is well known and while the Costa Rica loss is a bit disheartening, it will be the upcoming games against USA and Mexico at the Office in Kingston where Jamacia Reggae Boyz has to deliver or face an uphill battle.

CONCACAF fourth round Hexagonal match day three
26 March 2013
Costa Rica 2-0 Jamaica
Panama 2-0 Honduras
Mexico 0-0 USA

Up next
4 June 2013
Jamaica-Mexico
7 June 2013
Panama-Mexico
Costa Rica-Honduras
Jamaica-USA