Game: Panama vs. Jamaica
Date: Friday, September 2
Time: 9:30 PM EDT (United States), 8:30 PM EST (Panama, Jamaica), 1:30 AM GMT
Venue: Estadio Rommel Fernandez (Panama City, Panama)
Television: beIN SPORTS USA - US; CVM Jamaica - Jamaica; GolTV Sudamerica, RPC Canal 4 - Panama
Streaming: Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, fuboTV, beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A.
If Jamaica is going to make the hexagonal, they absolutely must defeat Panama in order to stand a chance. Panama is in second place in Group B and three points ahead of Jamaica, and with Jamaica six goals behind Los Canaleros in goal differential (the second tiebreaker, behind overall points) The Reggae Boyz must go to Panama and get the win. A Jamaica loss punches Panama’s ticket into the Hex, while a draw would mean Panama has to lose to Costa Rica while Jamaica has to beat Haiti by enough to make up the goal differential - not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination.
Jamaica will look slightly different than when it played its last match, a 3-0 loss at the hands of Uruguay in the Copa America Centenario. The changes however are mostly to bench options for Winfried Schäfer - the starting eleven most likely will not change. Philadelphia Union’s Andre Blake will be in goal for Jamaica, with a back line of Adrian Mariappa (Watford FC), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Jermaine Taylor (Portland Timbers), and Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution). Garath McCleary (Reading), Lee Williamson (Burton Albion), Michael Hector (Eintracht Frankfurt), and Jobi McAnuff (Stevenage FC) will most likely comprise the midfield, however don’t be surprised if Rodolph Austin (Brøndby) gets the start over Williamson or Hector. Up top will most likely be the combination of Giles Barnes (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City), although with the duo unable to score during the Copa America Centenario Schäfer may look to replace Donaldson with Simon Dawkins (San Jose Earthquakes) or Dever Orgill (IFK Mariehamn). Bethlehem Steel FC’s Cory Burke will be on Schäfer’s bench for the matches against Panama and Haiti.
Look for Panama to go with a 4-5-1, with ex-LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (Dinamo București) in net. On defense will most likely be Roderick Miller (Atlético Nacional) at left back, Felipe Baloy (Rionegro Águilas) and Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders) at center back, and Adolfo Machado (Deportivo Saprissa) at right back. Look for Alberto Quintero (San Jose Earthquakes), Amílcar Henríquez (Árabe Unido), Ricardo Buitrago (Juan Aurich), ex-Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez (Deportes Tolima), and Armando Cooper (Toronto FC) in the midfield, although with only three of five starters from the Copa America returning the unit will most likely be in a state of flux. Blas Perez (Vancouver Whitecaps) will most likely start up top for Panama, however Gabriel Torres (Lausanne-Sport) or Luis Tejada (Juan Aurich) may get some minutes if Perez starts to flag.