THE BALL – United States and Mexico at the World Cup (Costa Rica in ‘play-off’) (CONCACAF)

The United States (11th time, having missed the last edition) and Mexico (17th and eighth in a row) qualified yesterday morning for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which this year will be played from November 21 to November 18. December.

Both teams were in excellent position to do so, heading into the 14th and final round of the CONCACAF final, and there were no surprises. The United States were beaten in Costa Rica by 0-2 (Juan Pablo Vargas, at 51′, and Anthony Contreras, at 59′), but could lose by five goals, while Mexico, who could also pass even in defeat, received and beat El Salvador 2-0 (Uriel Antuna, 17′, and Raúl Jiménez, 43′, from the penalty spot).

In other games, Canada (already qualified and repeating the only presence in 1986), with FC Porto midfielder Stephen Eustáquio as starter, lost 0-1 in Panama (Gabriel Torres, 49′ ), while Jamaica defeated Honduras. at home (2-1).

Canada finished qualifying 1st with 28 points, Mexico 2nd with the same score, USA 3rd with 25 points, Costa Rica 4th with the same 25 points, Panama 5th (21), Jamaica 6th (11), El Salvador 7th (10) and Honduras 8th (4).

It remains to be clarified that Costa Rica, which has five appearances in the final stages of the World Cup, and which was in the last two, can still win a ticket for Qatar: it will play the intercontinental play-off with New Zealand, winner of the Oceania qualifier.

There are now 29 teams selected, ie there are three places left. One of them will be for Wales, Ukraine or Scotland (European ‘play-offs’) and the other two for the winners of the intercontinental ‘play-offs’, this one between Costa Rica and New Zealand and the other between Australia or the United Arab Emirates (will always be played) and Peru.

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