The race to Russia has tightened after Mexico clinched a spot in the CONCACAF “Hex” with a 2:0 Tuesday home win over Canada in the CONCACAF semi-final stage. Honduras, Canada, and El Salvador all remain in striking distance of the group’s second spot, with matches in September 2016 to decide which Group A nation joins Mexico in the six-nation, CONCACAF 2016-17 Final Stage.
Mexico scored twice in the first half to the delight of a packed Azteca crowd, with Andres Guardado scoring on a penalty and Juan Manuel Corona scoring on the final play of the first half.
Canada then put forth a collective and positive performance for the last 45 minutes, closing down the Mexico offence.
With 12 points, Mexico is the first CONCACAF nation to book a spot in the Hex, also the only nation with a perfect record after four matches. Honduras is second with four points (-1 goal difference), Canada is in third also with four points (-3 goal difference), while El Salvador is in last place with two points (-5 goal difference).
Canada will face Honduras on Match Day 5 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 2 September 2016. Canada then faces El Salvador at home on 6 September (location TBD).
Two nations from each of three groups will advance to the CONCACAF Final Round, otherwise known as the “Hex”. In Group B, Costa Rica is in first place with 10 points (+5), Panama is in second place with seven points (+2), Jamaica is in third place with four points (-4), and Haiti is in fourth place with one point (-3). In Group C, Trinidad and Tobago are in first place (10 points / +8), USA are in second place (7 points / +7), and Guatemala are in third place (6 points / +1). Last-place St. Vincent & the Grenadines (0 points / -16) have been eliminated.