September 29 – Qatar, guesting in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup next summer, were handed a favourable group draw that kept the AFC visitors away from the local confederation heavy hitters of Mexico, the US and Costa Rica in the opening group stages.
Instead Qatar will have the easier – on paper at least – but potentially tricky Central American opponents Honduras and Panama, as well as Grenada.
Elsewhere, fast improving Canada were drawn in the same group as the US. The Canadians have a habit of getting tough draws having been in the same group as 2019 winners Mexico last time out.
The draw last night in Miami was the first time the Gold Cup draw had been opened up to allow all the potential of Concacaf’s biggest nations meeting before the final. Before the draws had been seeded to keep the US and Mexico is separate halves so that they would only ultimately meet in the final.
The event was hosted by Emmy award winning TUDN sportscaster Lindsay Casinelli and Fox Sports Lead Soccer Analyst and United States Men’s National Team legend Alexi Lalas. Former Grenada and English Premier League star Jason Roberts (now Concacaf’s director of development), former Honduras national team star Wilson Palacios and a number of national team head coaches also participated in the made-for-tv live event.
Concacaf President Victor Montagliani said: “I know that many communities in our region are going through challenging times and the thoughts of everyone at Concacaf are with them. I hope tonight’s draw provided some anticipation for the fans, a chance to remember great Gold Cup moments of the past and to talk about football with friends and family..,”,
“We expanded last year’s Gold Cup and it was a huge success in showcasing outstanding football from our region. We want to build on that for the 2021 edition and believe the introduction of the Prelims and an exciting new format for the Knockout Stage will provide a great spectacle next year,” added Montagliani.
For the first time in 2021 the Gold Cup will open with a Preliminary Round with 12 teams competing in a knockout format for the final three spots in the 16-team group stage. The matches will be centralised in the US played in the week before the group stages kick off.
Venues, kick-off times, and schedules will be released in the coming months.
Preliminary Round One
Matchup #1: Haiti vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Matchup #2: Guatemala vs Guyana
Matchup #3: Trinidad and Tobago vs Monserrat
Matchup #4: Cuba vs French Guiana
Matchup #5: Guadeloupe vs Bahamas
Matchup #6: Bermuda vs Barbados
Preliminary Round Two
Matchup #7: Winner Matchup #1 vs Winner Matchup #6
Matchup #8: Winner Matchup #2 vs Winner Matchup #5
Matchup #9: Winner Matchup #3 vs Winner Matchup #4
Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar.
Knock out stage:
Quarterfinal #1: Winner Group D vs Second Place Group A
Quarterfinal #4: Winner Group B vs Second Place Group C
Quarterfinal #2: Winner Group A vs Second Place Group D
Quarterfinal #3: Winner Group C vs Second Place Group B
Semifinal #1: Winner Quarterfinal #1 vs Winner Quarterfinal #4
Semifinal #2: Winner Quarterfinal #2 vs Winner Quarterfinal #3
Final: Winner Semifinal #1 vs Winner SF #2
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