March 28 – Canada stormed past Jamaica at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 1986.
Needing just a point to go through, the Canadians hammered four unanswered goals past the Jamaicans. Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett all scored for Canada with the Jamaicans adding to their own misery with an own goal.
Canada remain top of the eight-team final qualifying table, three points ahead of the US and Mexico who both won, to occupy the other two automatic qualifying positions.
Costa Rica also continued their resurgence with an win away to El Salvador and to guarantee at least a play-off.
The US ended the Panama challenge for a play off spot with a Christian Pulisic hat trick contributing to what in the end was a commanding 5-1 win over Panama.
It was an intense start between the two teams with the first big chance going the way of the US when after a VAR review ruled there had been a Panamanian foul in the area. Pulisic coolly converted the penalty to the US a lead in the 17thminute that they never looked back from.
While the US were winning to maintain their World Cup challenge, so to were Mexico though it took a Honduran own goal in the 70yj minute to achieve it. A Hector Herrera corner kick into the box was deflected off the head of Honduras’ Junior Lacayo and
It was a cruel blow for the Hondurans but delighted the Mexican who now need just a point against El Salvador to guarantee automatic qualification.
Costa Rica confirmed their hot streak with a 2-1 away win against El Salvador. Anthony Contreras and Joel Campbell scored in their third straight win in qualifying. They are now unbeaten in their last six qualifiers.
While a play off is now guaranteed for the Costa Ricans, they sit only three points behind the US and Mexico with a game to play. The US are their next opponents.
But to qualify directly they would need a big win against the US as their goal difference is four behind Mexico and nine behind the US.
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