North American qualifying slate set for 2022 World Cup

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North American qualifying slate set for 2022 World Cup

Saturday, December 05, 2020

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MIAMI,United States(AFP)— Mexico and the United States will meet next November and in March 2022 in North American regional qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar World Cup under a schedule released Friday.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced the basic scheduling plan after FIFA extended key international match windows to allow for three matches.

A revamped qualifying plan due to Covid-19 issues will see the final round of eight clubs play three matches each in September and October of next year and the usual two matches in November.

Three matches each in January and March of 2022 will decide CONCACAF's three spots in Qatar and send a fourth team into a playoff in June 2022 to claim another berth.

A revamped US squad will try to return to the global football showdown after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Three teams will qualify for the North American last eight in matches next March and June.

Five teams advanced directly to the final round based upon FIFA world rankings points, including arch rivals Mexico and the United States,Jamaica, Costa Rica and Honduras.

The 14-match final qualifying slate will see each club face each rival once at home and again away in a round-robin format.

US coach Gregg Brhalter's squad will open against two qualifiers and visit Honduras in next September's first qualifying window. The Americans will hostJamaicaand Costa Rica and visit the other qualifier in the October window before hosting Mexico and visitingJamaicanext November.

Mexico will host the US men in March before the US entertains a qualifier and finishes the final round at Costa Rica. The Mexicans host a qualifier in their final match.

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