Panama end Mexico's 2019 Women's World Cup hopes


Los Angeles (AFP) - Second-half goals from Karla Riley and Lineth Cedeno lifted Panama to a 2-0 victory that ended Mexico's hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Women's World Cup on Wednesday.

Panama locked up second place in Group A of the eight-nation CONCACAF regional qualifier, with reigning World Cup champions the United States completing group play later Wednesday against Trinidad and Tobago in Cary, North Carolina.

All four semi-finalists will have a chance to secure World Cup berths, with the both finalists and the third place team punching their tickets and the loser of the third place match playing off for a berth against Argentina.

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Mexico, who competed in the last two World Cups and had beaten Panama in their five previous meetings, were thwarted by Panama's sensational 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey, who stopped a penalty kick by Charlyn Corral shortly before halftime -- one of a string of saves by the rising star.

Two minutes after the break Riley put Panama ahead when she fired a left-footed shot past Mexico keeper Cecilia Santiago.

Second-half substitute Cedeno added the insurance goal in the 85th.

Group B, which includes Costa Rica, Canada, Jamaica and Cuba, concludes on Thursday with two matches in Edinburg, Texas.

The semi-finals will be played on October 14 in Frisco, Texas.

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