Intrigue could surround final U.S. qualifier

[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: Concacaf] How's this for intrigue -- there's the very possible scenario that a USA-Guatemala tie on Tuesday would send both teams through at Jamaica's expense. El Salvador and Panama will advance with wins on Friday -- and an El Salvador victory over Costa Rica will eliminate the Ticos from the Hexagonal for the first time ever. For more on the three Concacaf groups heading into the final two games ...

GROUP A
7 Guatemala (6-4)
7 USA (6-4)
7 Jamaica (4-3)
1 Antigua & Barbuda (2-7)

WHAT'S AT STAKE: The USA's 1-1 tie against Guatemala in Guatemala City was viewed at the time as a disappointment -- it conceded a late goal to Marco Pappa -- but it is the difference in the group right now. All the USA needs to do is beat Antigua & Barbuda on Friday and gain at least a tie against Guatemala on Tuesday and it will clinch a berth in the final round of Concacaf qualifying. Jamaica's 0-0 tie at Antigua & Barbuda in June could come back to haunt it. If the USA wins in Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala beats Jamaica in Guatemala City, the Reggae Boyz will no longer control their destiny. A USA-Guatemala tie in Kansas City would send both teams through to the final round at Jamaica's expense.

Schedule:
Oct. 12
Antigua & Barbuda-USA   
Guatemala-Jamaica   
Oct. 16
Jamaica-Antigua & Barbuda   
USA-Guatemala   

GROUP B
9 *Mexico (7-2)
5 El Salvador (8-8)
4 Costa Rica (6-4)
1 Guyana (3-12)
*Clinched berth in the Hexagonal.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: El Salvador came back from two goals down after 15 minutes in San Jose to earn a 2-2 tie with Costa Rica in their opening game. That could be the difference as a win on Friday over the Ticos would send El Salvador into the Hexagonal and eliminate Costa Rica from the Hexagonal for the first time since Concacaf adopted the six-team format to conclude qualifying. A tie or Costa Rica win would put the Ticos in the driver's seat to join Mexico in the final six.

Schedule:
Oct. 12
El Salvador-Costa Rica   
Guyana-Mexico (in Houston)
Oct. 16
Costa Rica-Guyana   
Mexico-El Salvador   

GROUP C
9 Panama (5-1)
7 Honduras (4-2)
7 Canada (2-2)
0 Cuba (0-6)

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Panama will return to the Hexagonal for only the second time with a win over Honduras on Friday. The Canaleros pulled the surprise of the group with a 2-0 win over Honduras in San Pedro Sula in June. Canada faces this scenario: It will probably need to beat Cuba by several goals -- without Dwayne De Rosario -- if it doesn't want to have to travel to Honduras and get a tie (or possibly a win in case of a Catracho win in Panama City) in the afternoon heat in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday. Canada's goal difference (2-2) is currently inferior to that of Panama (5-1) and Honduras (4-2).

Schedule:
Oct. 12
Panama-Honduras   
Canada-Cuba   
Oct. 16
Honduras-Canada   
Cuba-Panama   

1 comment about "Intrigue could surround final U.S. qualifier".
  1. Andrew Busa, October 11, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

    I believe Jamaica can clinch on Friday.

    If Jamaica wins and the US does not win, Jamaica will be on 10 points, US at best on 8, and Guat on 7.

    There are no results in the last game that will see Jamaica any worse than second in this situation.

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