2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)

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2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONCACAF)
Tournament details
Dates 22 March 2015 – 10 October 2017
Teams 35 (from 1 confederation)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 100
Goals scored 285 (2.85 per match)
Attendance 1,628,537 (16,285 per match)
Top scorer(s) Guatemala Carlos Ruiz (9 goals)
2014
2022
All statistics correct as of 13 June 2017.

The North, Central American and Caribbean section of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification acts as qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia, for national teams which are members of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). A total of 3.5 slots (3 direct slots and 1 inter-confederation play-off slot) in the final tournament are available for CONCACAF teams.[1]

In a change to previous qualification tournaments for this confederation,[2] the first three rounds will be played as knockout rounds, with both the fourth round and the final round (referred to as 'The Hexagonal') played as group stages. The first round was played during the FIFA international dates of 23–31 March 2015.[3] CONCACAF announced the full format details on 12 January 2015.[4][5]

Format[edit]

The qualification structure is as follows:[4][6]

  • First round: A total of 14 teams (teams ranked 22–35) played home-and-away over two legs. The seven winners advanced to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 20 teams (teams ranked 9–21 and seven first round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The ten winners advanced to the third round.
  • Third round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 7–8 and ten second round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advanced to the fourth round.
  • Fourth round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 1–6 and six third round winners) were divided into three groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group advanced to the fifth round.
  • Fifth round: The six teams which advance from the fourth round will play home-and-away round-robin matches in one single group (often referred to as the "Hexagonal"). The top three teams will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the fourth-placed team will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Entrants[edit]

All 35 FIFA-affiliated national teams from CONCACAF entered qualification.[7] The seeding – used to draw the first four rounds of the qualifiers – was based on the FIFA World Rankings of August 2014 (shown in parentheses).[4]

From the August 2014 FIFA World Rankings[8]
Bye to fourth round
(Ranked 1st to 6th)
Bye to third round
(Ranked 7th to 8th)
Bye to second round
(Ranked 9th to 21st)
Competing in first round
(Ranked 22nd to 35th)
  1.  Costa Rica (15)
  2.  Mexico (17)
  3.  United States (18)
  4.  Honduras (43)
  5.  Panama (63)
  6.  Trinidad and Tobago (80)
  1.  Jamaica (85)
  2.  Haiti (117)
  1.  Canada (122)
  2.  Cuba (124)
  3.  Aruba (124)
  4.  Dominican Republic (126)
  5.  El Salvador (127)
  6.  Suriname (131)
  7.  Guatemala (134)
  8.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (134)
  9.  Saint Lucia (138)
  10.  Grenada (142)
  11.  Antigua and Barbuda (149)
  12.  Guyana (153)
  13.  Puerto Rico (155)
  1.  Saint Kitts and Nevis (159)
  2.  Belize (162)
  3.  Montserrat (165)
  4.  Dominica (168)
  5.  Barbados (169)
  6.  Bermuda (173)
  7.  Nicaragua (175)
  8.  Turks and Caicos Islands (181)
  9.  Curaçao (182)
  10.  U.S. Virgin Islands (191)
  11.  Bahamas (193)
  12.  Cayman Islands (197)
  13.  British Virgin Islands (201)
  14.  Anguilla (207)

Schedule[edit]

The schedule of the competition is as follows.[4]

Round Matchday Date
First round First leg 22–31 March 2015
Second leg
Second round First leg 8–16 June 2015
Second leg
Third round First leg 31 August – 8 September 2015
Second leg
Fourth round Matchday 1 9–17 November 2015
Matchday 2
Matchday 3 21–29 March 2016
Matchday 4
Matchday 5 29 August – 6 September 2016
Matchday 6
Round Matchday Date
Fifth round Matchday 1 7–15 November 2016
Matchday 2
Matchday 3 20–28 March 2017
Matchday 4
Matchday 5 5–13 June 2017
Matchday 6
Matchday 7 28 August – 5 September 2017
Matchday 8
Matchday 9 2–10 October 2017
Matchday 10

The inter-confederation play-offs are scheduled to be played between 6–14 November 2017.[9]

First round[edit]

The draw for the first round was held on 15 January 2015, 19:40 EST (UTC−5), at the W Hotel at Miami Beach, Florida, United States.[10]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Bahamas  0–8  Bermuda 0–5 0–3
British Virgin Islands  2–3  Dominica 2–3 0–0
Barbados  4–1  U.S. Virgin Islands 0–1 4–0
Saint Kitts and Nevis  12–4[note 1]  Turks and Caicos Islands 6–2 6–2
Nicaragua  8–0  Anguilla 5–0 3–0
Belize  1–1 (a)  Cayman Islands 0–0 1–1
Curaçao  4–3  Montserrat 2–1 2–2

Second round[edit]

The draw for the second round was held on 15 January 2015, 19:40 EST (UTC−5), at the W Hotel at Miami Beach, Florida, United States.[10]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  6–6 (a)  Guyana 2–2 4–4
Antigua and Barbuda  5–4  Saint Lucia 1–3 4–1
Puerto Rico  1–2  Grenada 1–0 0–2
Dominica  0–6[note 1]  Canada 0–2 0–4
Dominican Republic  1–5  Belize 1–2 0–3
Guatemala  1–0  Bermuda 0–0 1–0
Aruba  3–2  Barbados 0–2 3–0[note 2]
Saint Kitts and Nevis  3–6  El Salvador 2–2 1–4
Curaçao  1–1 (a)  Cuba 0–0 1–1
Nicaragua  4–1  Suriname 1–0 3–1

Third round[edit]

The draw for the third round was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[12]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Curaçao  0–2  El Salvador 0–1 0–1
Canada  4–1  Belize 3–0 1–1
Grenada  1–6  Haiti 1–3 0–3
Jamaica  4–3  Nicaragua 2–3 2–0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  3–2  Aruba 2–0 1–2
Antigua and Barbuda  1–2  Guatemala 1–0 0–2

Fourth round[edit]

The draw for the fourth round was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[12]

Groups[edit]

Group A[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Mexico 6 5 1 0 13 1 +12 16 Advance to fifth round 0–0 2–0 3–0
2  Honduras 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8 0–2 2–1 2–0
3  Canada 6 2 1 3 5 8 −3 7 0–3 1–0 3–1
4  El Salvador 6 0 2 4 4 13 −9 2 1–3 2–2 0–0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Costa Rica 6 5 1 0 11 3 +8 16 Advance to fifth round 3–1 1–0 3–0
2  Panama 6 3 1 2 7 5 +2 10 1–2 1–0 2–0
3  Haiti 6 1 1 4 2 4 −2 4 0–1 0–0 0–1
4  Jamaica 6 1 1 4 2 10 −8 4 1–1 0–2 0–2
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group C[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  United States 6 4 1 1 20 3 +17 13 Advance to fifth round 4–0 4–0 6–1
2  Trinidad and Tobago 6 3 2 1 13 9 +4 11 0–0 2–2 6–0
3  Guatemala 6 3 1 2 18 11 +7 10 2–0 1–2 9–3
4  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6 0 0 6 6 34 −28 0 0–6 2–3 0–4
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Fifth round[edit]

As with every World Cup qualification campaign since 1998, CONCACAF is holding a six-team, home-and-away round-robin group known as the 'Hexagonal', or 'Hex', as its final and decisive round. As a result of the abolition of the February and August fixtures from the FIFA calendar, the 'Hex' will for the first time not be contained within a single calendar year, but instead began in November 2016 and will conclude in October 2017.[4][5]

The draw for the fifth round (to decide the fixtures) was held on 8 July 2016, 10:00 EDT (UTC−4), at the CONCACAF headquarters in Miami Beach, United States.[14][15][16]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Mexico 6 4 2 0 9 2 +7 14 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 2–0 1–1 1 Sep 3–0 6 Oct
2  Costa Rica 6 3 2 1 9 4 +5 11 5 Sep 4–0 0–0 6 Oct 2–1
3  United States 6 2 2 2 11 8 +3 8 1–2 1 Sep 6 Oct 6–0 2–0
4  Panama 6 1 4 1 4 4 0 7 Advance to inter-confederation play-offs 0–0 10 Oct 1–1 2–2 5 Sep
5  Honduras 6 1 2 3 6 14 −8 5 10 Oct 1–1 5 Sep 0–1 3–1
6  Trinidad and Tobago 6 1 0 5 3 10 −7 3 0–1 0–2 10 Oct 1–0 1 Sep
Updated to match(es) played on 13 June 2017. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Inter-confederation play-offs[edit]

The draw for the inter-confederation play-offs was held as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015, starting 18:00 MSK (UTC+3), at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg.[17] The fourth-placed team from CONCACAF was drawn against the fifth-placed team from AFC, with the CONCACAF team hosting the first leg.[18]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
CONCACAF 4th place Play-off 1 AFC 5th place 6 Nov '17 14 Nov '17

Goalscorers[edit]

As of 13 June 2017

Note: Players in bold are still active in the competition.

9 goals
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
1 own goal

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Order of legs reversed from originally published draw.
  2. ^ FIFA awarded Aruba a 3–0 win as a result of Barbados fielding the ineligible player Hadan Holligan. Holligan failed to serve an automatic one match suspension for receiving two yellow cards earlier in the competition.[11] The match originally ended 1–0 to Barbados.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Concacaf estrenará formato de eliminatoria; sigue el Hexagonal" [New format for Concacaf qualification - Hexagonal retained] (in Spanish). ESPN Mexico. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Canada begins 2018 World Cup qualification in June". Sportsnet. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "CONCACAF to Hold Preliminary FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw in Miami on January 15". CONCACAF. 12 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "USMNT to start 2018 World Cup qualifying in November of 2014". Sports Illustrated. 12 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Draw Procedures – North, Central American and Caribbean Zone" (PDF). FIFA.com. 
  7. ^ "Road to Russia with new milestone". FIFA.com. 15 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "FIFA Men's Ranking – August 2014 (CONCACAF)". FIFA.com. 14 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "FIFA Calendar". FIFA.com. 
  10. ^ a b "Official Draw: CONCACAF Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018". CONCACAF.com. 15 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Barbados sanctioned for fielding ineligible player". FIFA. 29 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Draw shines light on CONCACAF’s WCQ path". CONCACAF. 25 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com. 
  14. ^ "Official Draw Scheduled for the Final Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018". CONCACAF.com. 1 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "Draw: CONCACAF Qualifying for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018". CONCACAF.com. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Mexico to open Hex on the road". FIFA.com. 8 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Preliminary Draw procedures outlined". fifa.com. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Preliminary Draw results in full". FIFA.com. 25 July 2015. 

External links[edit]