World Cup Qualifying

CONCACAF WCQ Rewind: Honduras reaches Hex, Ruiz scores five and more


The fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying concluded on Tuesday night, and the stage is now set for the Hexagonal phase beginning in November.

Honduras secured the sixth and final spot in the Hex after drawing 0-0 with Mexico at Estadio Azteca. However, despite El Tri‘s unbeaten record in the fourth round, there were jeers and chants of discontent directed at manager Juan Carlos Osorio after the full-time whistle. He’ll have a chance to prove the naysayers wrong in the Hex, beginning with a match against the USMNT on Nov. 11.

The result in Mexico City meant that Canada was eliminated despite a 3-1 win over El Salvador. The Canadians have not reached the Hex since 1998, and this latest failure could cost Benito Floro his job. One of the few positives the Canucks can take out of this cycle is the addition of Junior Hoilett and Scott Arfield, who have already become key players. However, there is still a lot of work ahead.

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s win over Trinidad & Tobago officially knocked out Guatemala, but that did not prevent Carlos Ruiz from capping off his international career on a high note. The 36-year-old scored five goals in La Azul y Blanco‘s 9-3 win over St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Ruiz will retire with 68 goals in 133 appearances, spanning 18 years.

Costa Rica already booked its spot in the Hex, but closed out the fourth round with an emphatic 3-1 victory against Panama. Christian Bolanos scored twice, while Ronald Matarrita buried his first international goal for Los Ticos, who closed out this stage unbeaten with five wins from six matches.

Jamaica was officially eliminated on Friday, and finished the round with a whimper as Haiti shocked the Reggae Boyz, winning 2-0 in Kingston. The Jamaicans have not been in top form since their 2015 Gold Cup final appearance, winning just two of their last 11 competitive matches. Their last win actually came against the Haitians back on Nov. 11. To make matters worse, manager Winfried Schaefer was not present as the JFF is investigating his behavior towards a journalist. It sounds like Canada may not be the only national team that could be searching for a new coach.

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