2018 World Cup Qualifying - CONCACAF, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying - Hexagonal
  • Hirving Lozano (53')

Lozano scores as Mexico hold off Panama to reach Russia

Hirving Lozano celebrates after opening the scoring for Mexico against Panama. Getty Images

Mexico qualified for next year's World Cup finals after beating Panama at the Azteca Stadium.

Substitute Hirving Lozano's second-half goal was enough to earn Mexico a 1-0 victory and lift them three points clear of Costa Rica at the top of the CONCACAF qualifying table.

The win means Mexico is guaranteed a top-three finish with three matches still to play, and with it a place at Russia 2018. It is the seventh successive time Mexico will be at the World Cup finals and 16th overall.

The 22-year-old Lozano, who joined PSV Eindhoven this summer from Pachuca, struck the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute when he powered home a header from Jesus Corona's cross.

Mexico joins Brazil, Iran and Japan in securing their berth at the World Cup finals, alongside hosts Russia.