WHAT TO EXPECT
CONCACAF 2014 W-C qualifier Projections
By Aldwyn McGill
Producer- Stars Soccer Review Magazine
The big news in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers thus far is Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda advancement into the third round after defeating Caribbean Powerhouses Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti respectively. The tremor occurred on Friday November 11 when Guyana defeated the Soca Warriors 2-1 at Georgetown’s Providence Stadium to win Group B. Ricky Shakes scored Guyana’s first goal in the 10th minute and Leon Cort provided the insurance goal in the 81st minute. Kenwyne Jones scored T&T consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time.
The topic of contentions in Trinidad was on fellow Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz who lead Guyana Golden Jaguars to their historic win against Trinidad and Tobago as the coach. It was the first time that Guyana had beaten T&T and its first advancement into the third round of a World Cup qualifier..
Antigua and Barbuda created shockwaves at Warner Park Stadium in Antigua with a 1-0 win over Haiti. Kerry Skepple scored the lone goal in the 82nd minute to clinch the Group F title. Antigua will face the United States, Jamaica, and Guatemala, in the next (third) round. The other teams which advanced out of the second round were: Canada, (clinched a spot from a scoreless draw in an away game with St Kitts and Nevis to win Group D), El Salvador (won Group A after beating Suriname 3-1), and Guatemala, and Panama which had little resistance in winning their E and C Group respectively. In anticipation of which of the six teams will advance from the highly competitive third round, it is important to look at the legitimacy of the top six seed which received byes into the third round.
Mexico still has to play but they are almost a shoe in to advance to the final (six) ‘hexagonal’ stage
USA's main competition will be Jamaica and since to this point Jamaica has never beaten USA it is safe to pick USA to advance.
Jamaica has the talent and with the experience they should advance in spite of Guatemala’s improve play. Jamaica only real challenge is to beat USA at the Office in Kingston to gain momentum for the rest of the qualifiers.
Costa Rica and El Salvador have to fight for one spot in Group B because of Mexico’s dominance. However, El Salvador defeated Mexico in the 2010 WCQ and can split games with Costa Rica. The second spot should go to the team which can gain a point against Mexico and Costa Rica has the advantage in that regard.
Honduras is in the group (C) of death with Canada, Panama and Cuba. This group will be a reflection of the final round of six, where the top teams have to win at home, beat the weakest team in the group twice, and gain points on the road. Honduras has the edge to advance based on its international fan base advantage.
Cuba gained a bye into the third round but it is the weakest team in Group C. Canada is in a good position to advance out of this group, but the team has to hit the ground running and take the early points, by gaining 7 of its first available 9 points. Canada has two of its first three games at home and its opening game against Cuba in Cuba,
Panama is the most dangerous team in the 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and can create the biggest story of the CONCACAF WCQ out of Group C (the Group of Death). But, discipline must be maintained.
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