Juan Carlos Osorio is satisfied with Mexico’s start to the Hexagonal and would not be surprised if they are joined at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ by latest opponents Panama. The teams played out a 0-0 draw in Panama City on Tuesday, which left both on four points, two behind leaders Costa Rica.

“We think it was a good point, if you add to it to the three we got against United States,” said Osorio. “Four points from two away games, I think that’s a good start.

“We believe it’s within our reach to finish first in this group, and that’s our goal. We’re optimistic that we’ve made a good start on our journey to try and achieve this, and the players have gone away confident.”

Osorio, a Colombian former midfielder who studied coaching techniques in England, the Netherlands and the USA, was impressed by Los Canaleros.

“You have to give credit to Panama. In the first half, it was very difficult to get at them, they controlled the game with very direct football.

“We believe that if Panama can find the motivation to play with the determination and competitiveness that they did against us, they have a good chance [to qualify]. It won’t be easy to come here and get points.”

Only Brazil (20), Germany (18), Italy (18) and Argentina (16) have participated in more World Cups than Mexico (15).

Panama have never qualified for the tournament, though they came close to pipping Mexico to a play-off against New Zealand for a place at Brazil 2014.