The United States and Mexico book their places in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

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The United States and Mexico have sealed their seats at this year’s World Cup finals in Qatar, having achieved the results required to capture the last two Concacaf automatic qualifying spots.

The United States and Mexico book their places in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

The United States lost 2-0 to Costa Rica, who needed to win by at least six goals to overtake Gregg Berhalter’s team for third place.

Mexico beat El Salvador 2-0 to finish second, with Wolves forward Raul Jiminez scoring both goals.

Although Canada fell 1-0 against Panama, it had already qualified for the World Cup.

Costa Rica, which placed fourth in the standings, will face New Zealand in a play-off in June for a spot in the World Cup, which begins on November 21. The finals draw will take place in Doha on Friday.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least

Mexico or the United States would have needed a bizarre combination of results on Wednesday to be denied a spot in Qatar.

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Costa Rica had hoped for a miracle after two second-half goals in eight minutes by Juan Vargas and Anthony Contreras, but the USA rallied to finish the game, qualifying ahead of their opponents on goal difference.

“I’m really proud of this bunch,” Christian Pulisic, a forward for the United States and Chelsea, said after his country failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“It’s a strange feeling right now because I despise losing so much.” But I’m quite pleased with myself, and I’m looking forward to attending the World Cup.

“It’s definitely been a rollercoaster”

Mexico’s nail-biting qualifying campaign came to a conclusion with a win, ensuring that they will continue their streak of competing in every men’s World Cup since 1994.

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In the first half, Uriel Antuna scored a goal before Jiminez clinched the victory with a penalty kick.

Jamaica overcame Honduras 2-1 in the other qualifying match on Wednesday.

Standings and results for the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament

The first tiebreakers in the standings were (1) goal differential, (2) goals scored, and (3) the most points collected during matches involving tied teams.

CONCACAF Standings

TeamPTSGPWLDGFGAGD
1.* Canada-X2814824237+16
2.* Mexico-X2814824178+9
3.* USA-X25147342110+11
4.* Costa Rica-Y2514734138+5
5. Panama (E)21146531719-2
6. El Salvador (E)1014284818-10
7. Jamaica (E)11142751222-10
8. Honduras (E)414104726-19

*The top three teams will receive straight tickets to Qatar 2022, while the fourth-place team will compete in an intercontinental playoff against an Oceanian nation.

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= qualified to World Cup; Y = advanced to playoff; E = Eliminated

How CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying works

In the final “octagonal” qualifying round, eight CONCACAF nations (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) compete for three automatic slots in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

In a round-robin style, each team plays the other seven opponents once at home and once on the road. Each national team will play 14 matches in total, beginning in September 2021 and ending in March 2022.

The top three teams will receive automatic invitations to Qatar, while the fourth-place squad will compete in an intercontinental playoff in June for a final spot in Qatar. Here are the tiebreakers in the standings for clubs tied on points:

  1. Goal difference in all group matches
  2. Most goals scored in all group matches
  3. Most points were obtained from group matches between teams concerned
  4. Goal difference from group matches between teams concerned
  5. Most goals scored in group matches between teams concerned
  6. Goals scored away from home (if two teams are tied)
  7. Discipline points (based on yellow/red cards)
  8. Drawing of lots by FIFA

The Qatar World Cup will be played from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022. 

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