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CONCACAF teams on track for last set of World Cup qualifiers

In this July 3, 2019 photo, U.S. forward Paul Arriola (7) battles Jamaica defender Elvis Powell (5) for the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer semifinal in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)
In this July 3, 2019 photo, U.S. forward Paul Arriola (7) battles Jamaica defender Elvis Powell (5) for the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer semifinal in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Mexico, the U.S. and the other nations among the top six in CONCACAF remain on track to compete in the final round of regional qualifying to determine three World Cup teams.

Mexico beat the Americans in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final and was 12th in the July rankings announced Thursday. It was followed by the U.S. (22), Costa Rica (44), Jamaica (52), Honduras (67) and El Salvador (68).

Next in the region representing North and Central America and the Caribbean were Panama (74), Canada (78), Curacao (79) and Haiti (83).

CONCACAF has said that only the top six nations in the June 2020 rankings will compete for the region’s direct World Cup berths. The rest will play to determine which nation meets the No. 4 team in the hexagonal in a home-and-home playoff for the right to meet a nation from another region in another home-and-home playoff for a World Cup berth.

Each team in the hex plays 10 qualifiers, which will take place in September, October and November 2020, and in March and September 2021 – ending 14 months before the 32-nation tournament in Qatar begins in November 2022.

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