March 24 – Mexico took a big step towards Las Vegas and the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League finals last night with a 2-0 win over Suriname at the Frank Essed Stadion in Paramaribo.
The three points put them two ahead of Jamaica who now have to beat Mexico in the Azteca Stadium to qualify for the finals. Mexico need at least a draw. With Suriname finishing bottom of the group, both Mexico and Jamaica secure their spots at the Gold Cup that kicks off June 16.
It was not plain sailing for the Mexicans who at half time were drawing 0-0. The deadlock was broken in the 64th minute when a Carlos Rodriguez free kick from the left wing saw Johan Vasquez redirect the ball past Suriname goalkeeper Joey Roggeveen for a 1-0 Mexico lead. Mexico doubled their lead in the 82nd minute when Damil Dankerlui turned a shot from Roberto Alvarado into his own net.
Mexico were beaten finalists in the first edition of the Nations League in 2021, losing to the US 3-2 in extra time in Denver. A Christian Pulisic penalty decided the match.
The US still have work to do to qualify, starting tonight away to Grenada. A win would put them two points ahead of group leaders El Salvador with the final group game against El Salvador in Orlando on Monday leaving them needing just a point to qualify.
The final matches in Las Vegas will be played as double headers with the semi-finals on Thursday June 15, and the third-place play-off and final on Sunday June 18.
The third edition on the CNL, which kicks off in September 2023, has been revamped with an increase in the number of nations in League A from 12 to 16, and the addition of a new quarter final knock out round.
The third and fourth editions will serve as the qualification route for Concacaf national teams to the 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America (six teams) and 2025 Concacaf Gold Cup, respectively.
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