FIFA World Cup Qualification Catch-Ups: CAF & CONCACAF

As we mentioned in this post, there’s been some recently completed matches in qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We did a major review of the AFC part, and now we’re moving on to Africa and North America.

CAF

First round

The first round was made up of two-leg playoffs, as per the norm, which have all been completed bar one. The end results of these were:

  • SOMALIA 0:6 NIGER
  • SOUTH SUDAN 1:5 MAURITANIA
  • GAMBIA 2:3 NAMIBIA
  • SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE 1:3 ETHIOPIA
  • CHAD 2:2 SIERRA LEONE (away goals)
  • COMOROS 1:1 LESOTHO (away goals)
  • DJIBOUTI v SWAZILAND (SWAZILAND leads 6:0)
  • ERITREA 1:5 BOTSWANA
  • SEYCHELLES 0:3 BURUNDI
  • LIBERIA 4:2 GUINEA-BISSAU
  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 2:5 MADAGASCAR
  • MAURITIUS 2:5 KENYA
  • TANZANIA 2:1 MALAWI

Second round

The second round, which is going to be held in November, is made up of other two-leg playoffs. Assuming that SWAZILAND wins, then it will be have the following matches:

  • NIGER v CAMEROON
  • MAURITANIA v TUNISIA
  • NAMIBIA v GUINEA
  • ETHIOPIA v CONGO
  • CHAD v EGYPT
  • COMOROS v GHANA
  • SWAZILAND v NIGERIA
  • BOTSWANA v MALI
  • BURUNDI v DR CONGO
  • LIBERIA v CÔTE D’IVOIRE
  • MADAGASCAR v SENEGAL
  • KENYA v CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
  • TANZANIA v ALGERIA
  • SUDAN v ZAMBIA
  • LIBYA v RWANDA
  • MOROCCO v EQUATORIAL GUINEA
  • MOZAMBIQUE v GABON
  • BENIN v BURKINA FASO
  • TOGO v UGANDA
  • ANGOLA v SOUTH AFRICA

What happens next?

The winners of each playoff will make their way into the third round, which has five groups of four. Assuming that the winners of matches 1-4 are Group A, 5-8 are Group B, and so on, and the winners are the higher ranked team, we end up with the following groups:

  • Group A: CAMEROON, TUNISIA, GUINEA, CONGO
  • Group B: EGYPT, GHANA, NIGERIA, MALI
  • Group C: DR CONGO, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, SENEGAL, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
  • Group D: ALGERIA, ZAMBIA, RWANDA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA
  • Group E: GABON, BURKINA FASO, UGANDA, SOUTH AFRICA

The winner of each group will make their way to the World Cup, which, when plugging the world rankings through our groups, leads to TUNISIA, GHANA, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, ALGERIA, and GABON qualifying for the World Cup.

CONCACAF

CONCACAF, the North American confederation, contains an awful lot of small countries and not a lot of big ones. It’s a strange place where a team as small as Trinidad and Tobago can be ranked higher than Canada. In fact, they started playing off in March this year, and have already motored through three rounds of two-leg playoffs. Let’s see how it’s all gone down.

First round

Two-leg playoffs between the minnows of North America, where six of the teams competing have the Union Flag in the corner.

  • BAHAMAS 0:8 BERMUDA
  • BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2:3 DOMINICA
  • BARBADOS 4:1 U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
  • SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS 12:4 TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
  • NICARAGUA 8:0 ANGUILLA
  • BELIZE 1:1 CAYMAN ISLANDS (away goals)
  • CURAÇAO 4:3 MONTSERRAT

Second round

This one contains nations that have actually qualified for a World Cup.

  • SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADIES 6:6 GUYANA (away goals)
  • ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA 5:4 SAINT LUCIA
  • PUERTO RICO 1:2 GRENADA
  • DOMINICA 0:6 CANADA
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1:5 BELIZE
  • GUATEMALA 1:0 BERMUDA
  • ARUBA 3:2 BARBADOS
  • SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS 3:6 EL SALVADOR
  • CURAÇAO 1:1 CUBA (away goals)
  • NICARAGUA 4:1 SURINAME

Third round

Bigger nations here, but still not completely ready to eliminate thrashings.

  • CURAÇAO 0:2 EL SALVADOR
  • CANADA 4:1 BELIZE
  • GRENADA 1:6 HAITI
  • JAMAICA 4:3 NICARAGUA
  • SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 3:2 ARUBA
  • ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA 1:2 GUATEMALA

What happens next?

We’re now into the fourth round, where matches will start getting quite competitive. The teams have been divided into three groups of four:

  • Group A: MEXICO, HONDURAS, EL SALVADOR, CANADA
  • Group B: COSTA RICA, PANAMA, HAITI, JAMAICA
  • Group C: UNITED STATES, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, GUATEMALA

The top two teams in each group make their way to the fifth round. Based on the rankings, these will be MEXICO, HONDURAS, COSTA RICA, JAMAICA, the UNITED STATES, and TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.

It’s now time for the famous fifth round: the Hex. This is, as always, a double round-robin six team tournament, with the top three qualifying for the world cup. Using the rankings, we get MEXICO, the UNITED STATES, and COSTA RICA.

The fourth placed team, JAMAICA, will have to play off against the winner of the playoff in the AFC, which turned out to be UZBEKISTAN by our reckoning. I reckon the Jamaicans should go through.

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