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The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) have 3 direct places for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 1 spot up for grabs through a play-off with the Oceania winner. 30 teams entered the qualifying pot on Satuday to stake a claim for a flight to Brazil in 2014.
The CONCACAF region's draw began with the 2nd Round as the teams lower down the pecking order discovered their fate. The draw then headed to the final Group Stage, where USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras and Cuba eagerly waited.
In the final round, USA have been paired with Jamaica and the winners of Group E and F from Round 2. The Americans should sail through the Group with absolutely no hassles. Mexico and Costa Rica are the big seeds in Group B and they will be joined by the winners from Group A & B from Round 2. Finally, in Group C, Honduras and Cuba will compete for the one automatic spot along with Group D & C winners from the previous round.
The clashes between Cuba and Honduras will provide some Pacific fireworks as both will be keen to avoid the Intercontinental play-off. Costa Rica will offer some resistance in Group B, but Mexico should have too much fire-power for the small nation.
Round 2 Groups:
A: El Salvador, Surinam, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic
B: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Bermuda
C: Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua, Bahamas
D: Canada, St. Kitts & Nevis, Puerto Rico, St Lucia
E: Grenada, Guatemala, St. Vincent / Grenadines, Belize
F: Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, US Virgin Island
Round 2 is a winner take all scenario with only the top team going through to Round 3.
Round 3 Groups:
A: USA, Jamaica, Winner of Group E, Winner of Group F
B: Mexico, Costa Rica, Winner of Group A, Winner of Group B
C: Honduras, Cuba, Winner of Group D, Winner of Group C
The top two teams from Round 3 will head into a 4th Round which is another round-robin event with the top 6 teams playing against each other. The top three of these will qualify directly for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth-placed team will enter the inter-continental play-off against the Oceania winner.
Read Also: 2014 World Cup Qualifying: Europe
File Photograph Copyright: Shaun Brooks
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