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Canada, Nicaragua meet for U20 survival Friday
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PUEBLA, Mexico - When the United States and Costa Rica meet on Friday in the first game of a CONCACAF Under-20 Championship doubleheader, both sides will enter the field at the Estadio Universitario BUAP secure in the knowledge that their places in the competition's quarterfinals are assured.

In the nightcap, though, Canada and Nicaragua will battle for second place in Group B and the last available quarterfinal slot, with neither team able to overtake first-place Cuba in the table. The Canadians can advance with a draw, while the Pinoleros have to go for the win.

FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Group A
United States v Costa Rica, 6:30 p.m. ET

Group B
Canada v Nicaragua, 9:00 p.m. ET

Here are some other storylines to watch:

•  Canada has not participated in the last two FIFA U-20 World Cups. It won't want to end its qualifying journey early again.

•  Carlos Chavarria netted all three of Nicaragua's goals in Central American qualifying. He didn't score against Cuba on Wednesday. Will he be able to find the back of the net against Canada?

•  Jose Villarreal is the leading scorer for the U.S. under-20 team with four goals in seven games. He also netted for the LA Galaxy in this season's CONCACAF Champions League against the Puerto Rico Islanders during a 4-0 win in August. Can he tally in another CONCACAF competition?

•  John Jairo Ruiz, who netted Costa Rica's goal in its 1-0 win over Haiti on Wednesday, is appearing in his second CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. In the 2011 edition, he did not score. However, at the 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, he tallied four times. Will he get his name on the scoresheet against the United States?

The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, the winners of which will progress to the competition's semifinals and qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Seven of the quarterfinalists have already been determined: Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the United States.

The 12-team event runs through March 3.

For highlights, match articles, features, statistics and more…you can follow all the action at CONCACAF.com.

 
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