Friday 23 August, 2019

Reggae Boyz stay on track for last set of World Cup qualifiers

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz have moved up two places to number 52 in the latest edition of the FIFA World Ranking after making it to the semi-finals of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

More importantly, the Reggae Boyz remain the fourth-best-placed team in the CONCACAF (Confederation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean) to stay on track to compete in the final round of regional qualifying to determine three World Cup teams.

In Concacaf, the Reggae Boyz are behind world No. 12-ranked Mexico, the United States (22) and Costa Rica (44). Honduras (67) and El Salvador (68) round off the top six in Concacaf.

Next in the region representing Concacaf were Panama (74), Canada (78), Curacao (79) and Haiti (83).

CONCACAF has said that only the top six nations in the June 2020 rankings will compete for the region's direct World Cup berths. The rest will play to determine which nation meets the No. 4 team in the hexagonal in a home-and-home playoff for the right to meet a nation from another region in another home-and-home playoff for a World Cup berth.

Each team in the hex plays 10 qualifiers, which will take place in September, October and November 2020, and in March and September 2021 — ending 14 months before the 32-nation tournament in Qatar begins in November 2022.

The Reggae Boyz dropped valuable points in the rankings after failing to qualify for the final of the Concacaf Gold Cup. They suffered a 3-1 defeat against hosts United States in the second semi-final on July 4.

Mexico beat the Americans in the Gold Cup final, which accounted for them topping the Concacaf July rankings.

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