Reggae Boyz aim to finish with a win as World Cup Qualifying closes | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

Jamaica will host Honduras in a bottom-of-the-table fixture as the 14th and final matchday of the deciding window of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) for Qatar 2022 is on the docket on Wednesday, with three teams chasing the final two spots for automatic qualification.

All four matches will be played concurrently at 8:05 pm Jamaica time and many eyes will be peeled on the duel between Costa Rica and the United States at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Canada (28 points) have clinched one of the three automatic berths from North and Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf), the USA (25) are second ahead of Mexico on goal difference and Costa Rica (22) are fourth.

The Reggae Boyz will be keen to conclude another unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign with their first win at home in this cycle.

For Honduras, which are dead last in the eight-team table, they will be hoping for a first win in their visit to the National Stadium in Kingston against Jamaica.

Margins are very thin between these two teams in WCQ, with Honduras narrowly leading the series with six wins, four defeats and three draws.

The Reggae Boyz have won the last three overall meetings between the two sides, including their first qualifier for Qatar 2022 in a 2-0 final in San Pedro Sula.

Honduras’ last WCQ win versus Jamaica was a 2-0 victory in WCQ for Brazil 2014 in Tegucigalpa, while the last Honduran win on Jamaican soil was back in 1968, a 2-0 victory in WCQ for Mexico 1970.

Honduras come into the affair after narrowly falling 1-0 to Mexico, while Jamaica were downed 4-0 by Canada. No doubt that both sides will be seeking to end WCQ on a positive note with a full three points.

Costa Rica vs USA

The USA head into the affair in second place in the table with 25 points, while Costa Rica are in fourth with 22 points. At present, the Ticos find themselves in the spot for the Inter-Confederation playoff against the Oceania champion this June, but a chance remains for an automatic berth.

The USA hold a 10-goal advantage on goal difference over Costa Rica, so it would require a six-goal victory for the home side to catapult themselves over the USA

However, depending on the result of the Mexico-El Salvador match, Costa Rica could still make up the four goals of difference on Mexico (25 points) should Costa Rica win and Mexico lose.

History plays in Costa Rica’s favour when it comes to hosting the USA in WCQ. One has to go back to WCQ for Mexico 1986 to find the last time the USA earned a point on Costa Rican soil. Since then, it has been nine straight Costa Rica victories, while outscoring the USA 23-6.

The Ticos are also unbeaten in their last six qualifiers, in which they have collected 16 of 18 points, including Sunday’s 2-1 win at El Salvador thanks to goals from Anthony Contreras and Joel Campbell. Meanwhile, the USA arrive into the contest brimming with confidence thanks to Christian Pulisic’s hat trick in the 5-1 win versus Panama.

Mexico vs El Salvador

Plenty of attention will be bestowed upon the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City for Mexico’s finale with El Salvador.

A draw or a win will suffice for El Tricolor to reach the World Cup for an eighth consecutive time and Mexico can look to their excellent form at home against El Salvador in WCQ, with seven wins in seven matches.

Defender Hector Moreno and forward Raul Jimenez will be ones to watch for Mexico, as both players have scored in the last two WCQ against the Cuscatlecos.

Mexico have proven a tough foe in defense as well, having not conceded in their last four games, but they will be put to the task by an El Salvador attack capable of scoring goals against anyone, especially with forward line players like Cristian Gil, who tallied his side’s goal in the narrow 2-1 loss to Costa Rica.

Panama vs Canada

Canada can wrap up a first-place finish with a draw or win in their finale at Panama.

The Canadians sealed their first World Cup berth since Mexico 1986 in a 4-0 home win over Jamaica and now a chance to stand atop the final standings awaits, while Panama’s possibility of a second straight World Cup came to an end in Sunday’s 5-1 defeat at the USA.

Canada were 4-1 winners in their first meeting of the Third Round, however, the Canaleros have never lost to Canada in home qualifiers, with a win and two draws.

Panama forward Rolando Blackburn is also his side’s all-time top scorer versus Canada in WCQ with two goals, while Canada forward Cyle Larin could improve upon the 13 goals he has already scored in all rounds of WCQ.