June 8 – The first round of Concacaf qualification for the Qatar 2022 World Cup reaches its final stage of group games tonight with five of the six groups going down to the wire.
Only group winners go through to the next round. Group A comes down to El Salvador versus Antigua and Barbuda. An El Salvador win would see them through buit a draw would open the door for celebrated minnows Montserrat also could top the group if they beat Grenada.
Group B is a straight shoot out between Canada and Suriname. Both are undefeated and scoring goals for fun with Canada outscoring opponents 23-1 and Suriname doing the same 15-0. Canada will have superstars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David to call on but Suriname will hope forward Nigel Hasselbaink can score a hat trick in a third consecutive match.
Guatemala’s trip to Curacaoat the Ergilio Hato Stadium will decide the winner of Group C. Both teams are undefeated and have a plus-14 goal difference, though Curacao has scored one more goal than Guatemala.
Panama host the Dominican Republic to decide Group D. A stoppage-time goal from Manny Rodriguez earned a draw for the Dominican Republic against Barbados and kept them in contention to top the group. Panama enjoyed a 13-0 victory over Anguilla with Gabriel Torres netting four, and only need a draw to keep the dream of making two straight World Cups alive.
Haiti and Nicaraguain Group E is perhaps the match-up of the night. Haiti forwards Duckens Nazon scored four times and Frantzdy Pierrot got a hat trick of his own in Haiti’s 10-0 victory over the Turks and Caicos Islands, while Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera scored his third goal of the round in a 3-0 win over Belize last week. Neither team has conceded yet in qualification. A draw would see Haiti go through.
The only nation to qualify for the next round so far are St Kitts and Nevis who were grouped with a woeful Trinidad and Tobago who somehow managed to translate the abject mess of the national federation’s administration (they are under the control of a normalisation committee) on to the field with coach Terry Fenwick presiding over what must be the 1996 World Cup nation’s worst ever series of performances. It has been a soap opera of football ineptitude for the former Caribbean footballing giant, a story that would be hard for even the most creative of writers to make up.
Trinidad face St Kitts tonight but redemption for the Trinidad and its coach is pretty much unachievable for this team or coach.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org