Canada keeps second, prepares for Azteca
Posted on 26 March 2016 in Men's National Team
Canada hold second place in the CONCACAF semi-final stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers, stuck on four points after the third of six matches in Group A. The series continues in four nights in Mexico before the last two matches conclude the round in September 2016.
Following an 0:3 loss to the group leaders on Friday, Canada will face Mexico away on Tuesday night at Estadio Azteca. The 29 March 2016 international match will kick off at 20.30 local, televised nationally in Canada on TSN2 and RDS INFO (22.30 ET / 19.30 PT).
"We are pleased with the attitude of the players in that they did not stop fighting," said Benito Floro, Canada Soccer's Men's National Team Head Coach. "Mexico played very well, but we fought throughout the match."
Mexico hold the group lead with nine points on three wins. From the 12 remaining CONCACAF nations, they are the only nation with a perfect record in this round. Following a 2:2 draw in San Salvador, El Salvador hold third place in Group A with two points while Honduras sit in last place with just one point.
Two nations from each of three groups will advance to the CONCACAF Final Round, otherwise known as the "Hex". In Group B, Costa Rica are in first place (seven points, +2 goal difference) ahead of Panama (four points, +1), Jamaica (four points, -1), and Haiti (one point, -2). In Group C, Trinidad and Tobago are in first place (seven points, +3) ahead of Guatemala (six points, +5), USA (four points, +3), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (no points, -11).
ROAD TO THE 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is the biggest single-sport event in the world. From 209 member associations from around the world, 32 finalists will qualify for the 32-day event that is played in 11 cities from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Canada are amongst the 12 CONCACAF nations in the hunt for a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The remaining nations have been split into three groups for the continent's 2015-2016 semi-final stage. The top-two nations in each group will advance to the final round in 2017, from which three nations qualify for Russia 2018 and the fourth team advances to an intercontinental playoff.
In CONCACAF Round 4, Canada will play six matches, with both a home and away encounter against Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico. Matches will be played over three international windows, with Canada gaining a valuable four points after the first two matches with a victory over Honduras (1:0) at home on 15 November 2015 and a draw in El Salvador (0:0) on 17 November 2015.
Following the home and away matches with Mexico on 25 and 29 March, 2016, Canada then faces Honduras away and El Salvador at home again in September 2016.