The World Cup draw takes place on April 1st, and three Concacaf nations head into the pots, with the potential of one more joining them.
In this series we’ll look at who qualified for the tournament in November, starting with the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).
What’s happened so far?
Qualification from Concacaf started in March 2021, with 28 nations joining the first round. Saint Lucia withdrew from the competition whilst Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras were handed byes to the third round as the highest ranking nations.
El Salvador, Canada, Curaçao, Panama, Haiti and Saint Kitts and Nevis were the six group winners that advanced to the second round — a two-legged knockout contest. All three ties were fairly academic, with El Salvador beating Saint Kitts and Nevis 6-0 on aggregate, Canada easing to a 4-0 win over Haiti and Panama overcoming Curaçao 2-1 over the two legs.
How did the table finish?
The third round of the Concacaf qualification process is a league format featuring the three winners from the second round and the five sides given byes to this point. Here’s how the final standings look:
The nations that finish in the top three have automatically qualified for the World Cup, with the team that finishes in fourth entering into an inter-confederation playoff game against the nation that wins the OFC qualification process.
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Who has qualified for the World Cup from Concacaf?
Canada, Mexico and United States have all confirmed their spot in Qatar, the latter pair doing so in the final matchday of the round-robin stage.
Things were extremely close at the top of the group with just three points separating four teams, and goal difference played a bit part. Canada won the group thanks to their +7 goal difference over Mexico, while United States avoided the play-offs thanks to their +6 goal difference over Costa Rica.
United States and Costa Rica met in the final round of fixtures and Costa Rica ran out 2-0 winners. While it was not enough to leapfrog United States (needing a 6-0 win to do so) it did confirm their spot in the inter-confederation play-off.
Costa Rica will now play New Zealand in Qatar on 13/14 June for a spot at the World Cup.
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