MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of two matches from the 2018 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship: The Qualification Stage Group H match between Panama and Mexico and the Final between the United States and Mexico. The matches can be seen on Concacaf’s YouTube and Facebook pages, plus the Concacaf App.
The expanded format of the tournament yielded a larger pool of teams in the group stage, with 34 nations spread across six groups.
Group A saw the U.S. claim the top spot with a perfect 5W-0D-0L record, while outscoring opponents 39-2, including a decisive 7-0 win over second-place Suriname to punch their ticket to the Qualification Stage.
The race for first place in Group B proved to be very close, with Mexico and Jamaica neck and neck throughout. Both teams finished with a 4W-1D-0L record, the lone draw being a 2-2 final between El Tricolor and the Reggae Boyz. In the end, however, it was Mexico’s goal-scoring ability that proved decisive, as they outpaced the Jamaicans on goal difference, +29 to +21, to claim the Qualification Stage berth.
Honduras was the headliner in Group C, but the Catrachos had their fair share of challengers, including a dangerous Cuba side that only gave up five goals in their five games. Nevertheless, a 3-1 win for Honduras over the Cubans earned the Central Americans a 5W-0D-0L record and a first-place finish.
Group D enjoyed some of the most competitive group stage matches during the tournament, and while Panama finished atop the table with a spotless 5W-0D-0L record, they had some close calls. Second-place Canada were keen to swoop into the top spot, but a crucial 2-1 win for the Canaleros kept the Canadians at bay. Also, of note was the play of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a side that defeated Canada 2-1 and narrowly fell 2-1 to Panama.
In a five-team Group E, it all came down to the matchday three battle between Costa Rica and Haiti, and an Andy Reyes goal in the 31’ helped the Ticos edge past Les Grenadiers to finish with a 4W-0D-0L record and a place in the Qualification Stage.
Rounding out the group stage was Group F in which El Salvador and Guatemala fought for bragging rights until the very end. The meeting between the two Central American rivals came on matchday three and after Guatemala took an early 1-0 lead, El Salvador rallied for two straight goals to take a 2-1 win which ultimately decided the group and sent the Cuscatlecos to the next round.